The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has confirmed to its membership that merger talks with the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) have been suspended.
Following a series of very detailed meetings at which fundamental issues on next steps could not be agreed, the BWF’s president, David Pattenden, issued a statement today to its 700 member firms explaining the BWF still believed in the principles behind the proposal to create a strong industry body to lobby on timber issues. However, ultimately the proposals put forward could not meet the agenda of the two organisations in a realistic timeframe.
Iain McIlwee, chief executive of the BWF, said: “Obviously, we are disappointed. The prize of a joined up voice for timber is great. But it cannot be at any cost. Serving the day-to-day needs of the members is our first and unwavering responsibility.
“A modern trade body must harness the industry’s expertise and energy, and this is where any activity must start, a bottom-up approach that is member-led.”
Mr Mcllwee continued: “The BWF has grown by about 50% over the last three years and growth continues. We have great supply chain partnerships, and we have led the way in areas such as the education and skills agenda, timber product quality and third party certification, and essential research on life cycle analysis. I am very proud that these tangible strengths, and the service-led culture of the BWF has been apparent throughout this whole process.
“We had a good and committed group of members leading this who really left no stone unturned. The steering committee appointed by the BWF were resolute in protecting the interests of members and will continue to look at opportunities, such as through our support for Wood for Good and the great work they are doing on all of our behalf, to develop a stronger macro voice on timber issues.”