Disillusioned importer members of the Northern Ireland Timber Trade Association (NITTA) have confirmed their resignations from the Timber Trade Federation.

NITTA comprises 10 importer members, nine agents and one provisional importer member. The agent members have the option of staying with NITTA or of joining former NITTA importers in creating a new trade body.

An inaugural meeting will be held in February to form a new organisation to develop NITTA’s product promotion campaign which has been running for the past five years. It has included an evening with Kevin McCloud of Channel 4‘s Grand Designs, BWF seminars for joinery manufacturers, and sponsored TRADA information sheets on kiln dried timber and CE marking.

Former NITTA chairman Maurice Brooks said: “Our members have become disillusioned with the effectiveness and value for money of the TTF, particularly when compared to what they had achieved by their own efforts in Northern Ireland.”

He said talks have been held with the Dublin-based Irish Timber Trade Association to explore areas of common interest and said many non-NITTA members have expressed an interest in supporting the breakaway group in its endeavours.

TTF head of communications, Mark O’Brien, said: “Obviously we are disappointed that after lengthy discussions regarding NITTA’s approach to TTF membership that we have failed to persuade the majority of importers to remain involved.

“The TTF will continue to own the NITTA identity and it is our intention to continue to build the membership up in Northern Ireland in spite of this setback. We will be doing our utmost to persuade those who haave resigned to reconsider their decision and to re-join in the future.”