The Wood Panel Industries Federation (WPIF) has unveiled a five-point plan to safeguard its future in the face of threats from developments in the biomass sector.

The Make Wood Work plan has been launched to counter what the WPIF calls the “severe market distortion” its members face from the Renewables Obligation subsidy programme.

It also launched a campaign website,, and released the results of two independent reports which say that spiralling development of large-scale wood-fired energy plants in the UK threatened 8,700 UK jobs – the number of full time equivalent jobs attributable to UK wood panel manufacture.

The findings also suggest unchecked development of major biomass projects could extend to an estimated 12,000 people working in sawmilling and related activities.

WPIF argues that electricity generators, supported by subsidy, can afford to pay more than double the price currently paid by the panels sector for raw material.

“Our research proves categorically that the government’s renewable energy policies – specifically support for biomass – are directly damaging the competitiveness of the wood panel industry in the UK, which is wholly reliant on domestically-sourced wood,” said WPIF director-general Alastair Kerr.

Its plan calls on government to modify the subsidy scheme, ban wood from landfill, focus on the expansion of non-wood fuels and fast-rotation crops and recognise the panel sector’s contribution to UK renewable heat generation under the Renewable Heat Incentive.