James Jones, Egger, meet with U.K. government's Independent Panel on Forestry to ensure forest management policy recognizes industry needs

LARBERT, U.K. , August 2, 2011 () – James Jones & Sons, as part of a broad group of large UK timber processors, met the Government's Independent Panel on Forestry during their visit to the Kielder Forest in Northumberland on 26 July 2011.

The team made up of James Jones & Sons Ltd, EGGER (UK) Ltd, BSW Timber, Taylor Made and Iggesund Paper Board met the Panel members in a bid to ensure commercial interests are recognised as part of future policy for forestry and woodland management.

Chaired by the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool, the Panel was established in March 2011 to advise Government on the future direction of forestry and woodland policy in England - and the role of the Forestry Commission in implementing that policy.

The UK's forestry and timber sector is a substantial contributor to the nation's economic well being. Recent research shows the industry provides £7.2 billion to the UK economy each year and employs more than 170,000 people, with the majority in rural areas.

During the meeting, the panel was shown a recently commissioned DVD that highlights the importance of the timber sector to the UK economy and how the processing sector has been the number one contributor to the Forestry Commission's finances, supporting jobs and helping it to meet the nation's low carbon economy targets.

The other core industry-based issues discussed at the meeting included:

  • While the size and scope of the forest products industry is vast and has allowed UK manufacturing to grow, the current uncertainty in wood supply is damaging to industry confidence and downstream customers.
  • While more than £1.6 billion has been invested in sawmills, paper and board mills over the last 15 years, with a further £2 billion earmarked for the next 15 years, safeguarding existing jobs and creating more jobs, investment has been built on the basis of sustainable and long-term supply, which needs to continue.
  • The importance and interdependency of the industry's supply chain which uses 100% of the tree.
  • How the Forestry Commission can continue to provide a consistent, reliable supply of timber at market price, and how its future financial sustainability can be secured.
  • The need for new bio-diverse forests to be created for all stakeholders, including mixed conifer and broadleaves, underpinned by the financial returns from commercial softwoods.

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