As part of a drive to raise its profile and increase membership, the North East Timber Trade Association (NETTA) held its first seminar to be open to non-members in Hull in April.

NETTA chairman Ian Robinson said around 60 people attended, and representatives from eight non-member companies, including John Brash, WJ Handrahan, Hawthorn Timber, North Yorkshire Timber and JELD-WEN, were present.

Mr Robinson explained there were three reasons for inviting non-members – firstly the hope of encouraging them to join NETTA and the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), secondly to give them a taste of the important issues discussed at trade meetings, and thirdly to underline how membership of an association with a code of conduct and responsible purchasing policy might become a prerequisite for tendering for major orders, especially with the government and leading building contractors.

TTF product manager Nick Boulton described the new softwood contract and explained why it had been necessary to draft a new one rather than amend the original, and Dominic Ward, a partner from Andrew Jackson Solicitors and expert in contract law, then spoke on “INCOTERMS”.

RPP manager Gunther Hentschel from the TTF described the Responsible Purchasing Policy and then chaired a debate on certification.

Former TTF president Geoff Rhodes summarised the federation’s problems during recent years and current president John Tong stressed there are now tangible reasons for TTF membership.