Tropical timber importers gathered for workshops on the Themis project

On September 27 and 29, ATIBT organized two workshops with the federation Le Commerce du Bois (LCB) and the Dutch knowledge institute Probos as part of the Themis project.

As a reminder, the Themis project, financed by PPECF and IDH, consists of developing a tool for collecting data on timber purchases by companies members of European federations. This new tool is an online portal, where companies will be invited to enter their data once a year.

Themis collects this information in order to monitor imports and purchases of certified timber, to improve the sustainable purchasing policies of the timber trade federations in the main consumer countries in Europe and to increase the supply of timber from sustainably managed forests.

Launched last April, the first Themis data collection was completed in July. These two workshops were an opportunity to present to companies the first results of the Themis Timber Market Survey. They were able to comment on the results and share their questions and remarks they had about the analysis of the data.

Given the limited number of companies that have completed the Themis portal, 8 in total, it was decided not to make the overall results public. Nevertheless, each company will have access to its individualized data. The main objective for the 2022 collection will be to increase the number of responding companies. The more companies that fill in their data, the more accurate and representative the portal will be, and the more it will be possible to communicate the commitment of ATIBT members to sustainable procurement.

In addition, Mark van Benthem (Probos) spoke about the experience of the Dutch timber trade federation, NTTA. NTTA introduced a monitoring system for its members' timber procurement about ten years ago, and its experience shows the link between monitoring and the increase in certified procurement. The Dutch experience is a good example for other European federations to follow. You can consult here the Probos 2020 report on the growth of certified timber on the Dutch market.

Finally, the further development of the project was also discussed in consultation with the companies. The question of the score that will be given to the companies was discussed. The method of calculation and presentation of this score, as well as its use, were also discussed. Eventually, this score should become a communication tool for the federations' member companies.