Tropical Timber Forum: Reducing risk, improving supply

Thursday, 31 October 2019 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM GST

26, Store Street, England, WC1E 7BT, United Kingdom

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Thursday, 31 October 2019 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM GST

The Building Centre, 26, , England, WC1E 7BT, United Kingdom.

Tropical timber is an important element of the global trade of hardwood, and when sustainably managed, it is a resource able to benefit everyone in the supply chain. However, integrating sustainable practices is not always a simple task.

#TTF19 takes a special look at the challenges of establishing a supply of quality hardwoods, beginning with a special focus on Africa, particularly from West Africa and the Congo Basin, which have been sources for hundreds of years.

In the afternoon we expand our focus to countries such as Indonesia which have successfully implemented FLEGT, to Guyana which remain on the journey, and to Brazil which has been a focus of international news in recent months.

We will also take a wider look at the flow of timber into Europe from around the world, and ultimately discuss what can be done to reduce risk and improve the quality of supply.

This one-day is free to attend for TTF members and their guests, but registration is essential.





10:30 - Welcome & Introduction (David Hopkins, Timber Trade Federation)

10:40 - Market Overview of Tropical Trade Flows to Europe (Mike Jeffree, Independent Market Monitor) 

11:10 - African Trade Flows (Tullia Baldassarri, Interholco, on behalf of Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux)

11:30 - Gabon (Dick Anning, Carl Ronnow)

11:50 - Ghana (Chris Beeko, Ghana Forestry Commission and Richard Carter, RJC Agencies)

12:10 - Republic of Congo (Tullia Baldassarri, Interholco)

12:30 - African Trade Panel Discusion


13:00 LUNCH


13:45 - Welcome back

13:55 - Indonesia (Klaus Goecke, Holz.Bau.Beratung)

14:15 - Brazil (Robbie Weich, Tradelink International and Hank Marchal, Robinson Lumber)

14:35 - Guyana (Finn Knudsen, European Sales Manager, McVantage)

14:55 - Open Timber Portal (Marie Vallee, World Resource Institute)

15:15 - Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition Survey (Mark van Benthem, Stichting Probos)

15:25 - FLEGT Perceptions (Lucy Kamall, Timber Trade Federation)

15:40 - FLEGT Activities (David Hopkins, Timber Trade Federation)

15:55 - Role of FLEGT and Certification Panel Discussion

16:25 - Closing remarks (Dave Hopkins, Timber Trade Federation)



Timber Trade Federation

We are the voice of the UK timber industry, supporting and promoting our members’ interests. Our members constitute of timber importers, merchants, agents and manufacturers. We have been supporting timber traders for over 125 years and have seen climate change become a defining feature for the government, regulators and customers. As well as supporting our members’ interest, we work to maintain and enhance timber’s sustainable reputation at a national, European and international level. All members must operate under our strict Code of Conduct. We empower our members to lead the standard of #trustedtimber by completing our Responsible Purchasing Process (RPP) due diligence system. Buying from a TTF member means buying #TimberYouCanTrust

Contact the Organizer View other events

Anand Punja
FSC European Regional Director

Anand’s role is to support and facilitate FSC’s uptake and growth across the European Region. Working closely with FSC teams in 18 countries, as well as stakeholders across the chambers where FSC is not actively present. Anand has developed a strong understanding of the varying challenges and opportunities faced in forest related value chains, from forest to retailer. As European Director, Anand sits on FSC’s Global Leadership Team and plays a key role in ensuring that FSC’s Global Strategic Plan delivers for its European Stakeholders across the three chambers (Economic, Environmental and Social). Anand has been working with the European Timber Industry since 2010, having led on sustainability issues at the Timber Trade Federation in the UK, prior to joining FSC. There he developed the TTFs Responsible Procurement Policy and supported members implementation of it, growing the percentage of certified timber available in the UK market.

About Anand Punja

FSC European Regional Director
David Hopkins
Managing Director, Timber Trade Federation

About David Hopkins

Managing Director, Timber Trade Federation
Marie Vallee
Open Timber Portal Manager

Marie is the Open Timber Portal Manager. The Open Timber Portal (OTP) is a forthcoming WRI tool that aims to increase transparency in timber supply chains, thereby reducing incentives for illegal logging and, ultimately, reducing forest degradation and deforestation, starting in Central Africa. Her role is to coordinate both its technical development and data collection management. In addition to this, Marie ensures the promotion of this very innovative type of tool to the main users, including governments, private sector and civil society. Marie has been working for more than 12 years developing and managing local or national organizations in the field of sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation. She worked in particular for the Forest Stewardship Council as FSC France Executive Director. She holds a master degree in Forest Management from French National Engineering School for Forests and Water Management and Rural Development (ENGREF).

About Marie Vallee

Open Timber Portal Manager
Richard (Dick) Anning
Environmental Manager at Carl Ronnow

Dick is a senior manager at Carl Ronnow (Malaysia) with 16 years of experience in capacity building in sustainable forestry management practices and chain of custody (CoC) systems geared towards third party certification. During this period, he has assisted timber industry companies to prepare for, and pass, more than 150 certification / legality verification audits. Much of this has been achieved whilst working for Carl Ronnow, a company involved in the international timber trade, and he has focused on capacity building projects with Suppliers that improve forest management and product transparency through third party certification /legality verification. Initially this was in the Asia Pacific region but more recently he has been working with Suppliers in Central West Africa. In recent years much of the focus of his work, along with improved forest management and transparency, has been to instruct Suppliers on how to implement credible due diligence systems that will enable them to provide the necessary information required by Buyers who are required to abide by regulations such as the EUTR. Dick has gained extensive experience engaging with both the private and public sectors by working closely with other timber industry members, such as upstream & downstream producers, overseas buyers, timber trade federations and NGO’s. The impetus has been to help to create added value, and market access, for products that come from well managed forests with third party verified chains of custody that also include a credible Due Diligence System component. In 2014 Dick completed a NepCon LegalSource Expert Training Course and, in 2016, he passed an FSC Lead Auditor Training course for both Forest Management and Chain of Custody. In 2019 Dick completed an SBP (Sustainable Biomass Program) Auditor training course.

About Richard (Dick) Anning

Environmental Manager at Carl Ronnow
Richard Carter
Founder and Managing Director of RJC Agencies

Richard Carter has almost two decades experience in the tropical timber industry, having been in the business since 1991 having been tempted from his work as a Chartered Surveyor. After beginning in Menzies-Hyslop, Richard went on to work for Amerind Ltd and DBYL which took him across the Americas, Africa and the Far East, before founding RJC Agencies in 2000. A specialist ‘del credere’ hardwood agent, he now trades primarily in tropical timber from Ghana and Cameroon.

About Richard Carter

Founder and Managing Director of RJC Agencies
Hank Marchal
Managing Director of Robinson Lumber Company

Hank Marchal is Managing Director at Robinson Lumber Company, a family owned and operated import-export company based in New Orleans since 1893. The company specializes in hardwood exports from North, Central and South America to over 1200 clients in over 70 countries worldwide. Based in Brussels, Belgium, Hank has 23 years’ experience in managing the company’s Europe and Caribbean sales and International Tropical Hardwood purchasing with a focus on South American countries like Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. In this capacity, he serves as a resource to the company’s importing clients across Europe for implementation of their EUTR due diligence systems and advises exporters throughout South America on the legal and documentary requirements which European and US clients demand to comply with EUTR and Lacey Act. Hank holds undergraduate degrees in International Relations and French from Rhodes College and a Master’s degree in European Political Administration from the College of Europe with scholarship from the Rotary Foundation.

About Hank Marchal

Managing Director of Robinson Lumber Company
Olivier Bonneau
Director, OBBOIS

Olivier Bonneau is an expert in forest resources management with 13 years of experience in the Congo Basin. After guiding large companies towards sustainable forest management and implementing certification requirements, he specialised in improving forest governance and conformity assessment of companies. Indeed, he intervenes in the implementation of FLEGT VPAs in the European Union's partner countries and in the implementation of due diligence systems for European traders. Whether for certification bodies or as part of the due diligence systems of importers, OBBOIS develop audit criteria, evaluation tools and carry out compliance audits in the main forest countries with great references.

About Olivier Bonneau

Director, OBBOIS
Peter Latham, OBE
Chairman PEFC International Board

Peter was Director and Chairman of PEFC UK before he joined the PEFC International Board in 2011, becoming the Chairman in 2016. For 44 years, Peter worked for James Latham PLC, a family business which he joined in the 7th generation in 1973. He served the company as Chairman from 2006 to 2017. In 2019, Peter was appointed as a Non-Executive Commissioner of the Forestry Commission England (FC). Peter has been Chairman of the Timber Trade Federation Environmental Committee, Director of Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux (ATIBT) and a trustee of the Council of the Commonwealth Forestry Association. Peter was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his services to the wood industry in the UK in 2012 and the TTJ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

About Peter Latham, OBE

Chairman PEFC International Board
Mark van Benthem
Director, Probos

Mark van Benthem is director and senior advisor at Probos. He is a forest and nature management graduate of the University of applied sciences Van Hall Larenstein. Since the late nineties, he has been involved in certification of sustainable forest management (SFM). Over the years Mark has developed a large network within the SFM community. Since 2008 he assists the Dutch government implementing its Sustainable Timber Procurement Policy. Since 2013, he supports the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition as expert. Probos is a not-for-profit consultancy committed to promote sustainable forest management. For over 50 years Probos collates and develops information and knowledge and communicates it to foresters, policy makers and others in the forest and timber sector. Comprehensive market intelligence and monitoring are central to our mission. Data provides the basis for accurately formulating and evaluating measures, e.g. to boost demand for verified sustainable timber products. Which in turn helps shape and support forest management in producer countries. Probos undertakes timber market studies and data collection, including in our capacity as Dutch National Correspondent for bodies such as UNECE, Eurostat, FAO, ITTO and for organizations such as IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, Chatham House and in the framework of the FLEGT Independent Market Monitor (IMM).

About Mark van Benthem

Director, Probos
Robbie Weich
Group Compliance Officer, Tradelink Wood Products Ltd

Robbie Weich is the Group Compliance Officer for Tradelink Wood Products Ltd, a Global Hardwood company, dedicated to procuring, shipping, manufacturing, warehousing and marketing hardwoods, as well as plywood and allied timber products. Robbie has been with Tradelink for more than 22 years, having spent 13 years at the Group’s Brazilian division, where Tradelink have their own factory, near the Northern city of Belém. He has been located at the company’s Head Office in London for the past 10 years, travelling frequently to source regions and engaging with all stakeholders from competent authorities to a various NGO’s as well

About Robbie Weich

Group Compliance Officer, Tradelink Wood Products Ltd
Finn Knudsen
European Sales Director, McVantage

Finn Knudsen is active in international timber business. He has lived and worked in management of companies in many countries, and engaged in all aspects of the timber industry including sales and marketing of tropical hardwood products. In the 1990s he worked as the sales and marketing director for the then leading Guyanese timber company, and in recent years as the European representative for McVantage of Guyana, Inc. Finn has extensive experience in international timber business including diversification, value adding, and the introduction of lesser known/used species.

About Finn Knudsen

European Sales Director, McVantage
Lucy Kamall
Project Manager, Timber Trade Federation

Lucy is the project manager of the TTF's pan-European FLEGT communication initiative. She has worked in PR, marketing and communications for 20 years, and over the last 19 has built her career and reputation in the international timber industry. Her extensive experience is matched only by her enthusiasm and tenacity. The project includes working with UK and European partners, and tropical supplier countries to encourage better communication throughout the supply chain of FLEGT licenced products, and FLEGT's wider social, economic and environmental benefits.

About Lucy Kamall

Project Manager, Timber Trade Federation
Mike Jeffree
Independent Market Monitor

Mike Jeffree is a journalist and editor. His career started in newspapers and consumer magazines. After going freelance he focused increasingly on business media and became freelance news editor of the Timber Trades Journal in 1995. He was made editor in 2000, a position he held for 15 years, after which he took on the role of consultant editor in order to develop freelance projects. He now works with the European Timber Trade Federation, CEI-Bois, for which he has just edited the new booklet, Wood – Building the bioeconomy, the European Forest Institute, reporting largely on the EU FLEGT Initiative, the Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition and the American Hardwood Export Council. In 2015 he also became UK Correspondent for the EU FLEGT Independent Market Monitor, an EU-backed body managed by the International Tropical Timber Organisation. Its role is to monitor and report on trade flows from FLEGT VPA countries to the EU and to gauge EU market impacts and perceptions of the FLEGT initiative.

About Mike Jeffree

Independent Market Monitor
Chris Beeko
Director, Ghana Forestry Commission

Chris Beeko was the coordinator during the Ghana-EU VPA negotiation phase as well as a key member of the negotiation team. He is now Director of the Department that is leading Ghana in the development of technical systems for the implementation of the VPA. The Department he heads, the Timber Validation Department, is also the internally place auditor under Ghana’s TLAS arrangement. He has worked with the Forestry Commission from 1986 to date and has a mixed background in forestry, IT and forest governance. Mr Beeko has been involved in the development and facilitation of a number of multi-stakeholder dialogue processes.

About Chris Beeko

Director, Ghana Forestry Commission
Klaus Goecke
Founder and Director, Holz.Bau.Beratung

Klaus is the founder and owner of Holz.Bau.Beratung, a wood business related consulting company, based in Cologne, Germany. Klaus gives advice to small and medium sized companies that are looking to enlarge their product range or enter into new markets. He has profound knowledge of the international wood industry and the wood building sector, providing expertise in business development, marketing, key account management, strategy and leadership management. Klaus is engaged in various import promotion and development cooperation programs in Eastern Europe, South-East Europe, Caucasia and in Asia to help companies present their products on the EU markets. He holds a Masters in wood science and technology, and is fluent in German, English and French.

About Klaus Goecke

Founder and Director, Holz.Bau.Beratung
Tullia Baldassarri Höger von Högersthal
Communication and Marketing, INTERHOLCO

Passionate about story-telling, wood products and Africa, Tullia’s work with INTERHOLCO focuses on creating immersive content on the interactions between people, tropical forests and markets. With over 10 years of experience at the international level, Tullia learned the ropes of journalism before moving on to the United Nations, first as a volunteer based in their Geneva office and then at their Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation agency. In 2013, after leading PR for the first ever ‘art and conflict’ prize in London, she joined Paris-based ATIBT, the reference body for tropical timber. Tullia holds a Ma’s in Literature and Philosophy and a Ma’s in Foreign Languages from Rome University ‘La Sapienza’, with scholarships to the University of Helsinki (Finland) and the University of Reykjavik (Iceland).

About Tullia Baldassarri Höger von Högersthal

Communication and Marketing, INTERHOLCO