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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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