Over 30 people attended the first Timber Forum hosted by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) at its Coventry HQ on 11 November.
It is the second specialist product forum to be set up by the BMF, and follows on from the success of its Plumbing and Heating Sector.
The aim of the Timber Forum is to support merchant members and their suppliers in the timber and wood products market.
The BMF say they will do this through liaison and representation with other trade and regulatory bodies, by sharing best practice and by disseminating information and gathering views on legislation, product and building standards and other issues that may affect trading.
The inaugural meeting, chaired by Gary Froggatt of Howarth Timber and Building Supplies and Timber Category Director of the FORTIS buying group, was welcomed by merchants and suppliers including Buttle, Elliot Brothers, MKM, Mid Sussex Timber, Selco, West Building Supplies, Arbor Forest Products, Peppard Group, Snows Timber, SCA Timbmet, Vicaima and, attending their first BMF event, Norbord.
The day included presentations from the National Measurement Office, the British Woodworking Federation and the Trussed Rafter Association, covering the latest EU Timber Regulations, under which merchants have to demonstrate they are stocking sustainably sourced timber, Construction Products Regulation and the Housing Standards Review, as well as product issues including the BMF/BWF Fire Door Scheme.
Chairman Gary Froggatt said: “The BMF is in a unique position to bring together merchants and suppliers and advance this very technical product sector. The first meeting demonstrated the need for a specialist Timber Forum. I am looking forward not only to meeting regularly with others working in this area, but also to the benefits the BMF can bring by advancing our voice with legislators, and by ensuring that we have timely information on upcoming regulations that will help us develop the market.”
BMF MD, John Newcomb, said: “The BMF is committed to creating four distinct groups to support members operating in various sectors. The launch of the Timber Forum secures our second specialist area and I’m delighted with the response from the first meeting. It was a very positive start and we will be moving forward in 2015 with three separate events for members operating in this sector, as well as providing regular information digests and working with third parties to represent their interests.”