Key tropical events at Carrefour

Mike Jeffree

This year’s Carrefour International du Bois (CIB) in Nantes at the end of May featured key events for the tropical timber sector.

The show was the acclaimed by the organisers as the biggest and busiest CIB to date, with 11,500 visitors and 560 stands and 29% of the former and 38% of the latter from outside France. This, they said, reinforced its status as an international industry forum, something further underlined by the busy conference programme, which featured STTC relevant topics and partners.

One show event was the EU FLEGT Independent Market Monitor (IMM) Trade Consultation. The IMM’s role is to monitor EU market trade flows from supplier countries (all tropical) signed up to the FLEGT IMM Voluntary Partnership Agreements, including FLEGT-licensed timber from Indonesia. It also gauges market perceptions of the VPA initiative and FLEGT licensing in the market.

Delegates at the Consultation included importers and traders from the CIB, plus representatives of French government, the French Competent Authority, trade federations from France and abroad and NGOs.

There were presentations on FLEGT market trade flows, sustainable forest management certification in Indonesia and IMM activities in 2018. The latter include publication of an in-depth survey on FLEGT and FLEGT licensing conducted by its correspondents in seven leading EU importing countries, Indonesia and Ghana. It also plans a study of timber promotional campaigns and their acknowledgement of FLEGT, plus a follow up market study.

Breakout workshop groups at the event also gave delegates a chance to discuss key market issues.

The Consultation additionally included a presentation from STTC key partner the ATIBT on its Fair&Precious verified sustainable tropical timber branding campaign ( Launched last November, this is designed to highlight the availability and potential of sustainable tropical timber, including lesser known species, also, of course, a focus of the STTC.

The ATIBT initiative allows companies along the supply chain to use its brand, provided they commit to highest environmental, social and ethical standards, including sourcing certified sustainable material. Brand users are also subject to regular, third-party audit.

Another CIB tropical timber event also centred on marketing.  The FSC’s Approach to Developing Markets featured presentations on targeting key FSC markets and making the most of the FSC brand.

Jointly organised by FSC France and Netherlands, it also included a look at the FSC’s role in developing markets for lesser known species from Ben Romein of FSC Netherlands and Gijsbert Burgman of STTC partner Wijma, referring to STTC supported projects of tropical timber consortia in the Netherlands, Denmark and the LKTS Suriname project.