About the GTF
The Global Timber Forum is an international advocacy and networking hub for timber trade federations, national and regional industry bodies, and others in and associated with the sector.
Its goals are to:
- provide a conduit for disseminating news, views and information
- facilitate industry-wide coordination and collaboration
- discuss and promote international consistency in policy and legislation
- advocate the interests of the wood and forestry sector
- and create a channel for sharing best practice
A launch summit to refine the concept took place in Rome hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO), the European Timber Trade Federation and The Forest Trust/Tropical Trade Action Plan. This resulted in a roadmap for the GTF. Among other things, this laid out the four key themes where news coverage and discussions would primarily focus:
- Valuing The Forest Resource – developments that create added value in the wood supply chain, communicating the economic sustainability of timber use and the role of sustainable timber production in maintaining forests
- Market Legality Requirements – improving awareness and understanding of national and international anti-illegal timber regulation and helping coordinate trade responses to it
- Promoting Wood Products – sharing best practice, ideas, and campaign material for promoting and marketing timber and wood products
- Realising New Opportunities – news and information on latest timber technical developments, with a key focus on application of timber and wood products in the growing global green building market
A second summit in May 2016, which was again hosted by FAO, underscored the need for global cooperation in the wood sector and identified coordinated advocacy as another key mission for the Global Timber Forum.
The second summit also saw the replacement of GTF’s international panel of industry organisation representatives by a board of directors. This comprises GTF Chair Cindy Squires, Executive Director of the International Wood Products Association; GTF Treasurer Andreas von Möller, President of the European Timber Trade Federation; and GTF Directors: John Halkett, General Manager of the Australian Timber Importers Federation; Françoise Van de Ven, Secretary General of the Gabonese Forest Industries and Managers Association (UFIGA); and Francisco Grotewold, Executive Director of the Guatemalan Forestry Union (Gremial). It additionally includes Executive Director Rachel Butler and Operations Director George White.
The GTF has also set up legal status; the not-for-profit company is based in the UK.