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Low prices and demand drive TIMCON to new studies

Delegates at the Timber Packaging and Pallet Confederation (TIMCON) annual general meeting heard that, against a backdrop of depressed prices and low demand, the organisation is working on vital initiatives, including two studies on behalf of its own industry and a number of collaborative projects in other timber based businesses. Source: Packaging Europe

“Since our last AGM our Timbertrends survey has shown demand for new pallets has dropped again, while in the construction sector in 2012, housing starts were down 11 per cent. These figures confirm that these are challenging times,” said TIMCOn president John Dye.

“TIMCON is pressing on with industry-leading projects, including a study into standards for the kiln drying of pallets and the ongoing Timbertrends survey, which now quantifies the UK timber packaging and pallet business on an annual basis.”

He said that the organisation is becoming increasingly involved in collaborating with counterparts in the UK’s other timber-based industries, notably in its recent signing and attendance at the first meeting of the Timber Industry Accord and engagement with the Grown in Britain project.

Further afield, TIMCON continues to play a major part in the activities of the European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers (FEFPEB) and work with other international industry associations.

TIMCON represents the UK in Europe on the issue of a possible extension of ISPM 15, which includes lobbying for an exemption for the UK for domestic movements of pallets and packaging on the basis that it is an island.

“TIMCON does not anticipate an imminent extension of ISPM 15 regulations for intra-Community movements of timber pallets and packaging. We are in ongoing dialogue with DG Sanco, the European Commission plant health experts,” said Dye.

“We support any initiative to protect our forests. They provide an essential and sustainable source of raw material for our products. There are existing regulations in place that can be implemented at short notice if a pest infestation problem was to arise. However, our view is that the risk of spread of pests through European pallets and packaging is negligible.

“The recent impact assessment DG Sanco carried out identified the need to give adequate notice of the order of three to five years for any extension of ISPM 15 in Europe. We believe there is therefore a negligible likelihood of an extension in the near future.”