The European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) decided at their General Assembly in Madrid this summer to become a member of CEI-Bois. The decision gives the wider European timber sector a more united and stronger voice in dealings with decision makers in government and the market.
"Our respective memberships are complementary,” said ETTF Secretary General André de Boer. “CEI-Bois is the lead body representing the woodworking and processing industries across Europe, while the ETTF’s national member federations bring to that a global trading pillar, representing the leading timber importers and distributors.
The ETTF remains an independent legal entity, continuing to pursue its own projects and strategies in the separate and specific interests of the ETTF membership. For the first three years, the ETTF will evaluate its membership of CEI-Bois on an annual basis to assess the wider benefits to its own members.
“But we can see value in CEI-Bois having its base in Brussels and thus strong connections with EU government,” said Mr de Boer. “In forming part of their new trade working group, we can also share our expertise in the international market and particularly on such key topics as the EU Timber Regulation and the EU FLEGT Action Plan.”
Mr Antonicoli, CEI-Bois General Secretary, welcomed the ETTF’s move. “Having our two forces under one roof will bring us greater influence so we can achieve more for all our members,” he said. “A tight cooperation with the ETTF will help develop and consolidate our new trade working group, which we set up several months ago and where it could play significant role.
“We are also a well recognised and respected voice and brand among the EU institutions,“ said Mr Antonicoli. “And we have committed to include ETTF priorities in our yearly advocacy plan and to adapt our messages to the EU to ensure we effectively represent and defend the interests of European timber traders.”