As you can read from our guest column this month, local authorities are seen as a key target group for both government and trade. A meeting was convened recently following the issues identified in the report that Duncan Brack presented. It is estimated that Central Government accounts for 10% of all timber purchases whilst other non-mandated public sector authorities are responsible for around 30% of all purchases. The figure is significant and Defra with CPET are currently formulating a strategy to consider how to increase awareness amongst them. Considerable interest has been received from certain regions for example London and Scotland. The Scotland case follows the adoption of the policy by the devolved government.
As the awareness of the procurement policy continues to filter through we are finding more demands on our time to give presentations and training – which is great news. Sofie trained senior managers and operational staff who work for Royal Parks; the Government agency responsible for all the green spaces in London.
Raich & Jenny McInnes from Defra attended the Forests Forever TTF meeting and were able to update members on CPET activities with the new policy and developments with the FLEGT process. With the introduction of the new policy in 2009; the progress of the Voluntary Partnership Agreements and the availability of FLEGT licenced timber is crucial.
The Reference Board met at the end of November to discuss the comments received on the new policy. Following discussions, recommendations will now be put forward to Defra. Once this is agreed with Ministers, final guidance will be published in early 2008.
Spaces for up and coming workshops are still available; please contact Sofie at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Please note we will not publish a newsletter in December, so we would like to take the opportunity to wish you all Happy Christmas!
Raich & Sofie