New pallet production fell in 2022, and this may be followed by a larger decrease in 2023, Timcon’s general meeting heard

Collaboration between different sector organisations is increasingly important to achieving shared targets for the timber industry, according to John Dye, president of the UK’s Timber Packaging and Pallet Confederation (Timcon).

John Dye Timcon

John Dye

At the general meeting of Timcon members, held in Manchester in January, Dye said strong relationships with international and domestic associations were vital to progressing the interests of timber-based businesses.

This included cooperating on policy matters affecting the industry such as the PPWR and working together to source high quality data to inform better decision making for the business.

NWPCA vice-president of public affairs Jason Ortega, echoed the theme of international partnerships as he presented an update on his organisation’s activities.

This includes a new carbon calculator it has developed and from which it will share learnings as Timcon embarks on a similar initiative to help its membership meet increasing sustainability obligations.

Marcus Kirschner of the German Wood Packaging Federation and FEFPEB’s PPWR committee said working with national organisations across Europe was a central part in lobbying EU policymakers.

This includes ensuring they understand that the wooden packaging and pallet industry is naturally sustainable and should be at the heart of its circular economy principles, and helping achieve acceptable results on PPWR.

“Over the past decade, Timcon has fostered close productive partnerships with our pallet and packaging industry counterparts across the world and related wood-based sectors,” said Dye. ”These relationships help us establish and communicate shared positions and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

”At a time of significant international tensions, this spirit of solidarity, cooperation, and friendship helps strengthen us all, as individual businesses, as associations, and as a timber industry overall.”

He added that with Timcon representing the UK and Ireland, its remit included members both inside and outside the EU, again highlighting the significance of working towards international solutions that benefited all.

The need for quality data on the business from within the industry was also highlighted by Guy Watt of John Clegg Consulting, who presented the findings of the UK Wood Pallets & Packaging Market in 2022.

The latest edition of the annual report, which is jointly commissioned by Timcon and Forest Research (the research arm of the Forestry Commission), showed a 7 per cent drop in production of new pallets to 45.3m, representing a fall of approximately 3.4m pallets.

This follows the 8.3 per cent increase in pallet manufacture shown in last year’s report – and may be followed by a larger decrease for 2023.

Pallet repairs, meanwhile, have risen to 48.9m, an increase of 1.7 per cent on 2021.