21 Sept  2017 – Conference: Sustainably sourced tropical timber –  selling a positive story

source: Mark van Benthem (left) and 24H architecture (right)


For too long the European tropical timber trade has been on the defensive. An automatic link has been forged in consumers’ and specifiers’ minds between tropical timber, illegal logging and deforestation in many countries. This has combined with lack of awareness of the availability of sustainably sourced timber from well-managed tropical forests and the overall result is that the reputation and market success of all tropical timber has suffered.

The 2017 European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC) Conference will be the opportunity to discuss and learn how to sell the truly positive story that sustainably sourced tropical timber has to tell;  to review the challenge and, share knowledge and best practice with colleagues from across Europe on marketing this valuable and versatile material.  It will also be an excellent occasion to network with buyers, suppliers and specifiers.

The arguments for using sustainably sourced tropical timber and particularly lesser-known timber species (LKTS) are strong.  It is key to increasing the economic viability of sustainable forest management (SFM) and, by connection, to sustaining biodiversity and forest community livelihoods. So the onus is on the trade as a whole to boost awareness, specification and use of this high performance, versatile raw material. But it is a story, that can sometimes be complex to communicate and pitch correctly for different audiences.

The STTC Conference 2017 will explore how to improve the image of sustainably sourced tropical timber and market it as a rich and varied resource that can contribute to forest conservation – and do so in a way that appeals to users and consumers.

Learn about

  • The importance of using sustainably sourced tropical timber – it’s ‘Use it or lose it’;­
  • communicating the benefits of tropical timber use and best practices looking at
    • Life Cycle Analyses,
    • contributions to Sustainable Development Goals
    • and Climate Change Mitigation;
  • marketing LKTS;
  • opportunities for a European timber and pulp and paper covenant;
  • sustainable sourcing promotion by Timber Trade Federations.

Open discussion

The Conference will include many opportunities for delegate input, including interactive plenaries and breakout sessions.

Programme sept 20

Excursion and Networking dinner, September 20, 2017, 14:00

Interested in seeing the city you are visiting from a sustainably sourced tropical timber perspective? Aarhus is among the cities with the highest, most diverse use of tropical timber in every day and iconic use.

On September 20th, delegates can join an FSC Denmark-organised tour to the most interesting construction applications and other uses of tropical timber in the city. Meet the people behind the projects and learn why they chose sustainably sourced tropical timber.

The tour will end in the spectacular settings of Aarhus harbor in the Dome of Visions, where the European STTC and FSC Denmark invite you to a networking dinner.

  • Excursion: Walk to see showcase projects (3.5-5 km walk)
  • 14:00              Arrival at the meeting point “Kulbro View” (See the map below)
  • 14:10              Welcome by FSC Denmark
  • 14.45 – 17.00 Several stops around the city of Aarhus

The tour ends at the “Dome of Visions” where the dinner will take place

The excursion is free of charges

  • The Dinner:
  • 17:00              Refreshments are served
  • 17:30              Welcome by FSC Denmark followed by guest speakers
  • 18:00               Dinner is served in a no seating concept
  • 20.00              End of the dinner

The price for the dinner is set to 70 euros (this is including a few drinks).

Please inform us if you have any food allergies or special dietary restrictions.

What to wear?
Denmark has a mild climate but it’s possible to experience all sorts of weather conditions all on the same day. Make sure you’re bringing something for rain, sun and cold weather.

Practical footwear for a walk around town is recommended.

As some arrive directly from the excursion around the city of Aarhus no dress code is required for the dinner.

  1. Dome of Visions – Inge Lehmanns Gade – 8000 Aarhus C
  2. Comwell Hotel Aarhus –Værkmestergade 2 – 8000 Aarhus C
  3. Kulbro View – Kalkværksvej 9 – 8000 Aarhus C
  4. Centralværkstedet – Værkmestergade 9 – 8000 Aarhus C
  5. Wakeup hotel Aarhus – P. Bruuns Gade 27 -8000 Aarhus C
  6. Aarhus Central Station – Banegårdspladsen 1 – 8000 Aarhus
Programme sept 21

The Conference Programme, September 21, 2017, 9:00-18:30

The Conference will open with the plenaries, followed by afternoon breakout sessions, a panel discussion, and concluding with refreshments (9:00-18:30)

Participants and speakers

The Conference will gather STTC partners and participants, Timber Trade Federations, timber traders, construction sector representatives, NGOs and other stakeholders.

Moderator, for the fourth consecutive time, is Peter Woodward of Quest Associates.

time slottopic
8.30Welcome and registration
Stephen Willacy (City of Aarhus)
Agenda, process and introductions
Peter Woodward
9.20Session 1 - Activity Review and Plans - a year of action
STTC impact so far and flag ship projects
An update on STTC initiatives and follow-up since Rotterdam will be given by Nienke Stam (IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative/STTC). Pitches of 5 flagship projects: Alberto Romero (Spanish Timber Trade Federation), Iván Bermejo Barbier (Copade), Jakob Rygg Klaumann (Danish Timber Trade Federation), Benoit Jobbé-Duval (ATIBT) and Loa Dalgaard Worm (FSC Denmark). Participant discussion & speaker panel.
Introduction to TableTalks
Peter Woodward
10.30Coffee Break
11.00Session 2 - Focus on Action - TableTalks
An opportunity to explore a selection of case studies and activities exemplifying effective delivery of STTC practise. Participants to choose 3 from app. 12 TableTalks held 3 times in parallel. For topics, see below.
13.20Session 3 - Selling our story - and sustainably sourced tropical timber!
Key note: Identifying sustainably sourced tropical timber's meaningful difference
A highly participative session considering afresh how we brand ‘sustainably sourced tropical timber’ to boost sales in a highly competitive market.
The session led by global expert on brands and marketing Nigel Hollis, Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst, Kantar Millward Brown. Coffee break included.
16.20Session 4 - STTC beyond 2018, how will European partners work together
How can we continue sharing knowledge, tools and advocacy capacity
The topic will be introduced Nienke Stam (IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative/STTC), followed by table group discussions, and feedback to the plenary.
17.00Ceremonial moment in which new participants join the STTC & Closing remarks
17.15Invitation for drinks and bites

 TableTalks Topics
1Marketing of Lesser Known Timber Species
Kristian Jørgensen (FSC Denmark) and John Williams (RSK)
2Developing Timber Purchasing Policy Plans by Timber Trade Federations - lessons learned
André de Boer (ETTF) and Alberto Romero (Spanish Timber Trade Federation)
3Lesser Known Timber Species: from sourcing to trading
Ben Romein (FSC the Netherlands) and Emmanuel Groutel (WALE)
4ITTO’s Independent Market Monitoring
Mike Jeffree
5Positioning FLEGT when selling timber
Thomas de Francqueville (EFI)
6Using scientific evidence to support sustainability claims
Jamie Lawrence (the Value and Impact Analysis (VIA) Initiative)
7Contribute to Sustainable Development Goals and mitigating climate change - using it to sell your timber
Anand Punja (FSC Europe)
8Sustainability in Action: actual low impact felling and processing by McVantage of Guyana, Inc. in the Iwokrama Forest
Joe McKinney (McVantage of Guyana, Inc.)
9Danish efforts to boost demand for sustainably sourced timber products
Morten Thorøe (PEFC Denmark)
10The importance of market intelligence to boost demand for sustainably sourced timber products
Mark van Benthem (Probos)
11Dutch Sustainable Timber Covenant
Peter Veenhoven (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
12Ask the marketing guru
Nigel Hollis (Kantar Millward Brown)



The venue is Centralværkstedet: Værkmestergade 9, 8000 Aarhus C.
Getting to Aarhus

You can book a room with 15% discount in the hotels Comwell and WakeUp:


The conference on September 21 is free of charge (including lunch, drinks and refreshments). For the Networking dinner on September 20, a fee will be charged.


For more information please contact Joyce Penninkhof joyce.penninkhof@probos.nl, +31 (0) 317-466557 or Kristian Jørgensen kristian@fsc.dk, +45 2887 7808


Registration for this event is closed