Two major developments have been announced that could shape how timber is used at the 2012 London Olympics. First the companies selected by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to form the Games’ timber supply panel have been named.

The panel, unveiled on November 6, is: Arbor Forest Products Ltd, Arnold Laver Ltd, Brooks Bros UK Ltd, Christina Meyer Sustainable Wood Products, Finnforest UK Ltd, Hoppings Softwood Products plc, James Latham plc, Jewson Ltd, John Brash & Company Ltd, Kronospan Ltd, MLM Distribution Ltd, Premier Forest Products Ltd, Ridgeons, Timbmet Ltd, Vincent Timber Ltd and Wolseley UK.

The ODA has created the panel to help police timber supply to the Olympic site and ensure it is all certified legal and sustainable.

Earlier it was reported that tier one Olympics contractors would have to source from panel members, unless they can put forward a valid reason for using an alternative. Any other suppliers would have to meet the Games strict environmental procurement rules.

Dr Peter Bonfield, ODA leader of construction products, welcomed the panel’s launch. “We’re very pleased to have reached this stage,” he said. “The panel is very important for delivery of our sustainability plan and we’re looking forward to working with the members so tier one contractors can take advantage.”

In the other key move, the timber industry lobbying campaign Wood for Gold met Olympics minister Tessa Jowell and announced that this marked the start of regular discussions with her.

The meeting last week was attended by the Wood for Gold chairman, architect Craig White and TRADA chief executive Andrew Abbott.

“Tessa Jowell was very enthusiastic about the work Wood for Gold had done and our liaison with the ODA on issues of the Olympics’ sustainability,” said Mr Abbott. “We also agreed to hold six monthly meetings in the lead up to the Games.”

The initial discussions with the minister covered Wood for Gold’s work on timber procurement and certification and its communication with the Olympics tier one main contractors.

“We were delighted to have the opportunity to engage with the minister and look forward to updating her on the campaign’s progress in six months,” said Mr White.

He added that the discussions highlighted the role Wood for Gold can play for the industry in “brokering important meetings” with Olympics decision makers.

“The key is positive engagement,” he said. “Wood for Gold is not about whinging for wood!”

Mr Abbott confirmed that Ms Jowell has also agreed to address TRADA’s In Touch with Timber conference next May.