Ever closer collaboration with other industry organisations and constant liaison with government must be key targets for the Timber Trade Federation.

This was the message from president Geoff Rhodes speaking at the TTF’s annual dinner.

Addressing an audience of nearly 500 at the Natural History Museum in London last week, Mr Rhodes said: “Our voice is being strengthened in Europe with discussions on how the various pan European timber bodies can work more closely together in working out common positions on behalf of the European trade. It is vital that our interests are not threatened by a failure to address purely organisational differences and we will be pressing for further much-needed co-ordination and integration.”

He added that the TTF is also working closely with other trade bodies in the UK, including TRADA, the UK Forest Products Association, Wood Panel Industries Federation, British Woodworking Federation and the Building Research Establishment.

As far as government is concerned, Mr Rhodes stressed the importance of continuing to meet regularly with ministers.

“And in September the Federation, along with architects, specifiers and procurement officials from central and local government, will take part in a conference themed around timber procurement. This will be an important opportunity for the industry to better understand issues surrounding public sector procurement.”

Another vital goal for the Federation and the timber trade generally is to continue to promote its products to architects and other specifiers.

“The architectural community are a key audience for our industry which is why this year we are supporting the Wood Awards in association with the Carpenters’ Company, to promote excellence in design, construction and installation of timber products related to buildings and structures.”

Mr Rhodes also urged the audience to support the TTF in its commitment to improve industry training and to back the Forest Education Initiative, which works with schools and colleges to raise awareness of the timber and forestry industries and dispel misinformation about their environmental performance among children and young people.