Wood panel industry APPG reformed at Westminster21 June 2018
An expert working group on the contribution of one of the UK’s wood panel manufacturing industries has been launched at an event in Westminster.
The announcement was made as the Wood Panel Industries Federation (WPIF) hosted a reception to mark the reconstitution of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Wood Panel Industry.
The working group will be chaired by Stephen Kerr, MP for Stirling. Alastair Kerr, director general of the WPIF, will be the working group’s secretary, with further members to be announced in coming weeks.
The group will report to the APPG, and its findings will be presented to Claire Perry MP, Minister of State for Business and Energy, in the autumn. It will assess the challenges facing the sector due to lack of security of domestic wood supply, how the industry can meet 100% of UK demand for wood panel products post Brexit, and how it can coexist with the wood processing and wood fuels sectors which also rely on a finite wood source.
Together, WPIF’s members – Norbord, EGGER and Kronospan – employ 2,316 full-time staff at plants in Cowie (Stirlingshire), Inverness, Auchinleck (Ayrshire), Hexham (Cumbria), Chirk (North Wales) and South Molton (North Devon).
“As an industry, we are increasingly struggling to source a sustainable supply of forest roundwood and thinnings, sawmill products and recycled wood,” said Mr Kerr.
“Over the coming months we will be developing proposals that will support the sector, and through it industries including construction, furniture, packaging and transport, as we look to maintain our contribution to the UK economy into the future.”
Stephen Kerr MP was joined at WPIF’s reception by the APPG’s outgoing chair, Susan Elan Jones MP. Also present were Alan Brown MP, Bob Stuart MP, Jim Shannon MP, Guy Opperman MP and Bill Grant MP.
They met with representatives from WPIF’s members, including apprentices who work at Norbord, Lisa Munro and Allison Day; EGGER, Jordan Pegg, and Connie Moore; and Kronospan, Sion Smith and Dan Morris.