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Message from Lead Consultant - January 2018

Trade Consultations

The IMM programme will host a series of Trade Consultations on the EU FLEGT VPA initiative and FLEGT licensing this year. The first event takes place at the London Building Centre on March 8 and is organised in cooperation with the Global Timber Forum (GTF). 

The Trade Consultations will be a chance for timber businesses, and other industry stakeholders, such as specifiers and retailers, to hear the latest findings of the IMM’s trade flow monitoring and survey work.  They are also opportunities for delegates to discuss key issues and share their opinions with the Government of Indonesia and the European Commission.

Besides presentations and breakout discussion sessions, the UK event also includes a private tour of an exhibition at the Building Centre showcasing the products, stories and process involved in the EU FLEGT Action Plan in Indonesia. Organised by the TTF, with the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, this show runs from February 5 to March 31.

Sarah Storck, IMM Lead Consultant (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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Message from Lead Consultant - December 2017

IMM Autumn 2017 Newsletter

During 2017, the IMM expanded its market research programme to cover seven key EU countries, which account for roughly 90% of EU tropical timber imports from EU FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) partner countries. Its market research has been based on online surveys and structured interviews with trade representatives, government agencies and NGOs. Besides key EU countries, it currently also covers the VPA partner countries Ghana and Indonesia. This market research programme runs alongside IMM’s analysis of trade flow statistics and other timber trade related data, most recently presented in the IMM report "FLEGT VPA Partners in EU Timber Trade 2014 to 2016".

The first edition of the IMM Newsletter includes insights from the IMM EU market scoping surveys as well as the Ghana and Indonesia surveys. It also covers an analysis of EU-Indonesia timber trade since the start of FLEGT licensing and background information on how the Indonesian system works, as well as analysis of FLEGT-licensing teething troubles and EU economic trends. Interviews with Mike Worrell of the UK Timber Trade Federation and Dr Rufi’ie of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry provide further insights into Indonesian FLEGT licensing, while VPA Joint Implementation Coordinator Edwin Shanks explains next steps towards VPA implementation in Vietnam.

The IMM website will be developed further in 2018, providing constantly updated data on EU timber trade and market trends, as well as details of IMM research and activities. Please feel free to contact me for further information or to provide feedback.

Sarah Storck, IMM Lead Consultant (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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August 2018 Message from Lead Consultant

Register now for next IMM Trade Consultation 

The third IMM Trade Consultation will take place on 16 November 2018, from 10 am to 2:30 pm, at Verbändehaus in Berlin. The event is organised with the support of the German timber trade federation GD Holz.

In response to trade feedback from the first two events in London and Nantes, the Berlin Consultation will place an even stronger focus on workshops, allowing participants to attend all three sessions.

The workshops in Berlin will deal with:

  1. Trends in the European tropical timber sector – background, reasons and solutions 
  2. Recognising priorities and purchase dynamics for tropical wood products.  Assessing how supply chain relationships develop and the relevance or impact of FLEGT licences.
  3. FLEGT & “sustainability” – European timber procurement policies/sustainable timber definitions and their recognition of FLEGT.

As a part of the first workshop, IMM will present and put up for discussion a statistical analysis of recent trends in European and global tropical timber trade. The second workshop will feature a short presentation of an IMM study of EU wood promotion programmes and NGO lobbying materials and their respective recognition of FLEGT. The third workshop will kick off with a short presentation of results of an IMM study of European private sector procurement policies and sustainable timber definitions. It will also feature a short presentation of the Indonesian sustainable forest management standard PHPL and its role in the Indonesian VPA.

The final programme, including information on speakers and experts running the workshops, will soon be published on the IMM website.

To register for the IMM Berlin Trade Consultation click here.

For more information contact IMM Lead Consultant Sarah Storck at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IMM Summer Newsletter

The IMM Summer 2018 Newsletter is now available for download here. The current edition includes a summary report on the IMM Trade Consultation in Nantes as well a reports on the three Nantes workshop sessions on “Impacts of FLEGT VPAs on trading with Central African countries”,Purchase dynamics for companies sourcing from Indonesia” and “Market trends for tropical timber in Europe”

Moreover, the summer newsletter features a summary of findings of the IMM 2018 EU Furniture Sector Scoping Study, an EFI report on Ghana’s Timber Transparency Portal, and an update on Indonesia and the EU’s approach for dealing with FLEGT-licensing teething issues. The full report of the Furniture Sector Scoping Study is available for download here.

The Market News section contains an updated analysis of EU/VPA partner country trade, while the Country Focus section updates on preparation of VPA implementation in Vietnam, including an analysis of EU-Vietnam timber and timber products trade.

L'édition d'été de la newsletter IMM est maintenant disponible en français.


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Message from IMM Lead Consultant - March 2018

First IMM Trade Consultation highlights relevance of "sustainability"

A 45-strong audience comprising timber importers and distributors, furniture suppliers, retailers, and trade association officers, including from Belgium and Germany, besides the UK, came together at the London Building Centre for the first IMM Trade Consultation on 8 March. Representatives of UK government, the Indonesian embassy and Ghana Forestry Commission also participated.
Participants learned about and discussed recent trends in EU/VPA partner country timber trade, sustainability credentials of FLEGT-licensed timber from Indonesia (and potential future licensed timber from Ghana), as well as the role of FLEGT licensing in European public procurement.
A short survey and comments received from participants highlighted the relevance of sustainability, especially for retailers’ purchasing decisions, and the need for more information on what VPA implementation and FLEGT-licensing in partner countries offer in this respect.
The afternoon workshop on sustainability and marketing called for better information and promotion of FLEGT-licensed timber, including creation of a “FLEGT certified” logo for improved recognition and branding.
The workshop on trends in EU tropical timber trade also urged improved marketing and found that, while it was perceived as “legality verification” only, FLEGT was unlikely to overcome buyers' and consumers' environmental concerns. The group identified “environmental prejudice and un-coordinated marketing”, combined with “substitution by modified woods, wood composites, and non-wood materials”, as the main drivers of tropical timber market share erosion.
Click here to register for the second IMM Trade Consultation on 31 May in Nantes, France.
The draft agenda can be found here

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IMM EU furniture study - imports are entering a "crowded and fiercely competitive market"

With further support, development and communication FLEGT and FLEGT licensing can play a role in underpinning tropical timber product market share in the highly competitive European furniture sector, according to the latest IMM survey.The core aim of the IMM scoping study of procurement in the EU furniture industry is to gauge the sector’s perceptions of the value, impacts and process of sourcing from FLEGT VPA engaged supplier countries.

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