Following discussions between the two leading trade associations in the UK forestry and forest products sectors, the Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor) and the UK Forest Products Association (UKFPA), proposals for a merger of the two organisations have been announced. Discussions about the proposed merger are now at an advanced stage and are being considered by members of both organisations.
“This is an exciting time for the forestry and wood processing industry,” said Confor chair Athole McKillop. “We have so many challenges facing us, from Brexit to plant health, to securing future wood supply, it’s vital that we make best use of the sector’s resources to promote our interests and to provide technical advice and services to businesses in the industry.”
Echoing that sentiment, Gavin Davidson and Rod Gordon, UKFPA vice-presidents, said: “In view of the challenges and opportunities facing our sector, we believe that the time is right to bring together the two trade associations, to provide a stronger and more effective voice for our industry, whilst at the same time maintaining focus on the needs of our respective members and the cost-effective delivery of services to them. This is an ideal opportunity to build on the acknowledged strengths of the two highly-regarded organisations, for the benefit of members.”
Following positive discussions between senior representatives of Confor and UKFPA, agreement has been reached on a proposed merger, with the aim of launching the merged organisation in January 2019.
A joint statement from the two organisations provides detail on the proposed merger and sets out how members would benefit from the coming together of UKFPA and Confor. Confor members will be asked to vote on required changes to the company’s Articles of Association at its AGM at APF 2018 on Thursday, 20 September and UKFPA members will be balloted before APF 2018.
Looking forward to a successful merger, Confor’s chief executive Stuart Goodall and UKFPA’s executive director David Sulman said: “We are excited by the potential for a merged organisation to build on the complementary strengths of UKFPA and Confor. There is a lot more we can do for member businesses and this merger will help us deliver greater services and do more to promote their interests to politicians and in the media.”
Athole McKillop, Rod Gordon and Gavin Davidson agreed: “The time is right for the industry to come together. The sector has many opportunities and by working together, the industry should have a bright future. Businesses in the sector who have not in the past joined Confor or UKFPA should now come and join us, to work together for the common good and share in the success.”