Timber Expo: Bolivians see UK market prospects5 October 2013
Bolivia may not be the biggest timber supplier to the UK, but as its national pavilion at Timber Expo revealed, it believes it has the products and environmental credentials to increase its presence.
The joint stand featured three companies 'live', and information on a further nine and was part of an industry initiative organised by Dutch government-backed Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI).
The exhibitors included lumber suppliers, but were primarily marketing garden products, decking, doors, mouldings and components.
According to Eva Smulders of the CBI, all 17 companies in its Bolivian programme have been selected on their commitment to quality, reliability and legal and sustainable timber sourcing.
"They have taken part in export management coaching and can provide legality verification and chain of custody and are FSC-certified, or in the process," she said.
She acknowledged that more bridge building and communication between the countries was needed.
"The EU Timber Regulation may create uncertainty in Europe about sourcing from a new, relatively unknown supplier like Bolivia and, in turn, deter Bolivian producers from the market," she said. "But exercises such as this Pavilion can increase awareness of mutual opportunities."
Exhibitor Altmann Montero promoted its decking, lumber, scantlings and other components in a range of species including cumaru, cedrino, ipe and jatoba.
FSC-certified quality garden products and furniture producer Sinature also saw UK market potential and said it was talking to designers as well as importers.
After the show, said Mrs Smulders, the Bolivian group would identify and follow up its top 10 UK market prospects.