The East Anglian Timber Trades Association (EATTA) is stepping up its marketing activities to boost wood sales and increase membership.

Chairman Andy Moore told the association’s annual dinner in Cambridge that the timber industry is living in “exciting times” and has major opportunities to boost sales, particularly into construction.

“And I’m not just talking about the increase in timber frame, but also in terms of selling timber construction components for use with other materials, such as concrete and steel,” he said.

Following the success of its “Specifying Wood for the Environment” seminar, the EATTA is developing further marketing initiatives to help members capitalise on market opportunities.

The first of these is a new leaflet shown to guests at the dinner highlighting the benefits of specifying wood in general and buying from EATTA companies in particular.

“And next year we plan to increase our promotional operations,” said Mr Moore. “This will include attending the regional county shows and various other events to market the most sustainable product on the planet.”

He urged all EATTA members to get involved with the campaign. “We need more support throughout the year – still too much responsibility is being asked of too few. I want us all to be more proactive. It’s no good bemoaning the loss of business to concrete and steel if we don’t do anything about it.”

Mr Moore also urged guests to continue to support the Timber Trade Federation.

“The TTF has been through a turbulent two years, but the ship is very much back on course due to the work of the executive officers and staff and anyone who is rethinking their membership should think again.”

Standing in for new TTF president John Tong, his predecessor Geoff Rhodes told the dinner that progress was being made in launching the timber promotion premium – a “small levy” charged on each timber and wood product invoice at the “earliest point of collection”.

“This will give us the ability to raise substantial sums for promotion and means more money will be available to fund projects such as The Wood Awards, the Forest Education Initiative, the Centre for Timber Engineering, wood. for good and training and career development schemes,” he said. “It is surely right that an industry worth £2.4bn should spend an appropriate amount in helping to grow the market for timber and timber products.”