Certification progress in China, and across Asia, is under the spotlight at the second Annual PEFC UK Stakeholder Day later this year. A panel of leading speakers from a range of sectors will share their experiences about Asian trade, market development, and importantly, how UK business can benefit from a diverse and rich supply of sustainable timber.

Key sponsors include Arnold Laver, Whitmore’s Timber and the Soil Association.

Asian countries are amongst the most important suppliers of timber products to the UK market and the Chinese Forest Certification Scheme (CFCS) recently became the second Asian national forest certification system, after Malaysia, to successfully achieve PEFC endorsement.

“Malaysia has led the way in showing the world that Asia is capable and fully committed to producing certified tropical timber,” said Sheam Satkuru-Granzella, director of the Malaysian Timber Council in Europe. “Asia has a huge resource of durable and attractive timber species and an increasing amount is being grown under credible and rigorously audited national certification schemes, providing the European and UK markets with the necessary confidence to source tropical timber in addition to a varied choice of legal and sustainable wood products.”

The Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperative (IFCC) submitted its national system for endorsement at the end of 2013 and at the last PEFC General Assembly, delegates from eleven countries participated in a sustainable forest management system development workshop, with representatives from India, Japan, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

John Rogers from Soil Association Woodmark added: “This conference is based in the UK but focuses on Asia. It is very timely as there is increasing commercial and legal scrutiny from buyers and regulators on the environmental and legal origins of timber and we hope it is useful to our customers both in Europe and Asia.” The growing importance of the Asian regional economy means it has a strong influence on the environmental sustainability of international forest products. This makes it vital to build supply chain capacity and increase the availability of certified timber across the region. “The market for tropical timber is an exciting and expanding one in the UK,” said Andrew Laver, Managing Director for Arnold Laver. “It will be fascinating to hear how Asia is responding to the desire of UK consumers for greater levels of certified legal and sustainable hardwood products including doors, windows and panel products.”

The PEFC UK Annual Stakeholder Day will take place on 1st July 2014 at the National Association for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in central London from 2-6pm. The afternoon will conclude with a moderated panel discussion where delegates will have an opportunity to put questions to the panel. This will be followed by a networking drinks reception. The event is free to attend but places are strictly limited so early registration is recommended. The deadline for registration is Monday 16th June 2014.

Paul Jones from Whitmore’s Timber said: “Certified timber is crucial to our business and we are committed to source from renewable forests to find the best products for our customers. Asia is going to be a key area to source hardwoods over the next decade.” Alongside Sheam Satkuru-Granzella, speakers at the Stakeholder day include Andy Duffin from Latham’s, a leading timber importer from Asia, Michael Buckley, a world-renowned forest industry consultant, based in Singapore, who will speak on China’s influence of global trading and consumption of wood, Ms. Yu Ling Secretary General of the Chinese Forest Certification Council and PEFC’s Sarah Price, who will bring delegates up to date with the organisation’s progress in Asia.