The Scottish Timber Trade Association (STTA) is watching developments in Northern Ireland with interest following the decision by 10 importer members of the province’s timber trade association to resign from the Timber Trade Federation (TTF).

The Northern Ireland Timber Trade Association’s (NITTA) former chairman, Maurice Brooks, has been invited to Scotland to speak about what he and his members have done – and what they plan for the future.

STTA chairman Neil Donaldson said the motive for extending the invitation was based “purely on curiosity”. “Having heard that NITTA had left the TTF because they are disenchanted, we need to know the implications.”

Mr Brooks confirmed that he will visit Scotland in early April, adding that the invitation did not come as a surprise. “We have always co-operated very fully with the Scots and have a good relationship with them.”

He plans to talk about NITTA’s product promotion campaign, which worked very well for the association and which the breakaway group intends to continue.

Mr Donaldson said: “We believe that a strong federation is to be encouraged and dilution from the regions is unhelpful to that cause. However, clearly members must at all times feel that value for money is paramount and if changes are necessary then they would need to be considered.

He said there had been no discussions about Scotland joining forces with Northern Ireland, adding: “I am not aware of any such talk, but that isn’t to say there hasn’t been some.”