A €3.5m EU grant has been awarded to a partnership of timber trade organisations to help grow the supply of verified, legal tropical timber.

The partnership, which includes the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), the Dutch and Belgian timber trade associatons and Malaysian Timber Council, will use the funding to deliver a five-year project aimed at building capacity and creating practical timber tracking in four supplier countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Gabon and Cameroon).

The project will give direct, practical support to 183 mills and forest concessions, through the establishment of common standards of legality, with accompanying systems for monitoring supply chain transparency and accountability.

It will help spread codes of practice and legality information through workshops, newsletters, websites and consultations.

The initiative will be managed on a day-to-day basis by the Tropical Forest Trust, overseen by a governing board of timber trade organisations.

TTF corporate social responsibility adviser Andy Roby said: “This is another major step with the private sector in co-operating with the EU to deliver the EU’s action plan on illegal logging. TTF members interested in getting involved in this exciting programme should contact us as soon as possible.”