The European Timber Trade Association - FEBO – expects a gradual revival on the timber market in 2010
At the invitation of GD Holz, Board Members of the European Timber Trade Association (FEBO)
from 10 countries met in Cologne at the Branchentag for their regular Board Meeting on 11th November
2009. The delegates assessed the sector’s economic situation in 2009 as problematic with
participating national representatives agreeing that the grave Europe-wide slump in the construction
sector is continuing and that timber as a building material is particularly badly affected. It was
also reported that the crisis in the timber trade has also begun to make itself apparent in eastern
It is not yet possible to determine the degree to which the economy-boosting measures put in place
by several states are bearing fruit in these countries. On the whole, though, the situation is expected
to pick up slowly in 2010. The renovation sector is a major stabilising factor in all member
countries. In some of these, for example in the UK, an improvement in consumer confidence can
be observed which has led to a slight rise in demand.
FEBO President, Franz-Josef Kall, discussed the possibilities of extending FEBO with the members.
It seems that in some countries the necessary infrastructure (a national timber trade association)
does not exist; this is particularly the case in eastern and southern Europe. However, FEBO
intends to continue to expand its base and to win further European states for membership.
A further central topic of discussion was the EU’s planned regulation on the obligations of operators
placing timber and timber products on the EU market. FEBO is following the process closely.
Sweden, currently holding the Council Presidency, is eager to bring the matter to a conclusion before
the year’s end. The decisive factor will be the degree to which the European Council of Ministers
modifies the widely differing drafts from the Commission and the European Parliament. FEBO
already issued a statement on the matter on behalf of the timber trade this spring.
FEBO has compiled an overview of CE marking for panel products in construction based on European
regulations for use by member associations. The individual national member associations
can adapt the chart with their corresponding national standards or building regulations. The overview
can be found on the FEBO homepage www.febo.org.
The Board discussed additions to and the update of the Code of Conduct which was adopted in
2005 by the European timber trade and which has served as a tool in dealing with ecological issues
since that time. The revised version will be brought before the General Assembly which will
take place in June 2010 in Finland.
Secretary General, Lutgart Behets-Oschmann, presented the draft of a leaflet in which the European
Timber Trade Association sets out its tasks and targets. The leaflet is designed principally as
an aid to lobbying in Brussels as a brief outline of the trade for decision-makers. The draft was approved
by the Board; the final layout can now be completed.
On the day before the Board Meeting, FEBO President Franz-Josef Kall, Vice President John White
(UK) and the Secretary General, Lutgart Behets-Oschmann, met for an exchange of thoughts
with Andreas von Möller and André de Boer from the importing federations UCBD, UCBR and
UCIP which have recently merged to form an umbrella organisation. The modalities of future close
co-operation were discussed in a friendly, collegial atmosphere.
The next FEBO Board Meeting will be held mid-March 2010 in Brussels and the General Assembly
in June 2010 in Finland.