At the launch at London’s Building Centre on June 10 a large crowd from the industry gathered to support the initiative.

There was a definite positive buzz permeating the launch and you had the feeling that just maybe this could turn out to be the missing link the industry has needed for so many years.

For decades, the timber industry has talked about having a central representative hub to get its message across and help compete against competitor industries.

Some said it could not be done for the June 10 target date but the energy and vision of TTF interim chief executive David Lennan has ensured that the launch has kept on track.

There have been a few twists and turns on the journey – the shelving of merger talks between the TTF and the British Woodworking Federation in the spring being one of them. The merger had formed part of the process towards creating the CTI.

But the resulting formation of the CTI as an independent umbrella body rather than an organisation which timber sector trade organisations formally merge into seems to have received a large amount of industry backing – with 28 groups supporting the initiative.

Time will tell whether the CTI will achieve its ambitious aims, but its goals are to be welcomed.

These include the CTI acting as a strong united representational voice, representing the timber supply chain from forest to end of life recycling. This includes the paper industries and furniture manufacturing.

It will focus on key projects to influence the development and growth of forest products in construction, housing and interiors. It will also play a critical role setting the bar for timber being at the forefront of growing the low carbon economy.

New chief executive Dirk Vennick was straight in at the deep end – he made his first speech just a day after being appointed.

His background – he is the former CEO of the British Bookmakers Association and director of communications for the Tobacco Manufacturers Association – suggests he has experience in working in challenging environments.

A timber enthusiast, Mr Vennick will find promoting the cause of timber a different proposition. We wish him well in this task.

Meanwhile, we give extensive coverage in this issue to recent investments in the British sawmilling sector and include coverage of our Focus on Scotland trip.

And, of course, we include coverage of the biennial Ligna exhibition – the world’s largest timber and forestry technology show.

Some 96,000 people attended the show and it did not disappoint.