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The Timber Industry Magazine: Confor business plan identifies action list


Confor has identified an ambitious 27-point action list in its newly-published business plan.

The top five “challenge” areas flagged up in the business plan are wood supply in the short and longer term; promoting and supporting a fit-for-purpose Forestry Commission; growing awareness of the sector; developing a wood energy strategy which complements existing businesses; and recruitment to the industry and training.

“The 27 actions identified for 2012 are ambitious and substantial, especially given the time-consuming and difficult nature of those actions that rely on effective lobbying,” said chief executive Stuart Goodall.

“That said, the Confor team is committed to helping the sector be successful.”

The business plan notes the record high share of the UK market for domestic sawmillers but said the overall size of the market remains worryingly small and a strengthening pound could prompt a reversal in fortunes.

It said current economic conditions meant it was difficult to make accurate market predictions for home-grown timber but recent quantitative easing and predicted low long-term interest rates meant sterling was likely to remain weak.

A UK softwood production forecast due out in March is expected to provide an insight into future wood availability.

Confor’s income is projected to match its expenditure over the next three years, hitting £794,000 in 2012, £830,000 in 2013 and £868,000 in 2013.