ATIBT at World of Wood Convention, April 2024


On April 10th to 12th, 2024, Caroline Duhesme, Head of Innovation and Strategy, and Nathalie Bouville, ATIBT Representative for the US, attended the 68th edition of the World of Wood 2024 convention in San Diego.


This annual gathering is organized by the International Wood Products Association (IWPA), the leading trade association for the international wood products industry in North America. The IWPA brings together every segment of the global supply chain, from producers and service providers to importers, distributors, manufacturers, and retailers. Their aim is to create value for their members by uniting businesses, providing opportunities for improvement and growth, and representing them with a powerful voice.

The IWPA is committed to supporting the legal and sustainable harvesting of wood products from around the world. By building understanding and demand in North America for globally sourced wood products, they support the sustainable management of global forests for both current and future generations. Their mission statement is to build acceptance and demand in North America for globally sourced wood products from sustainably managed forests.

In San Diego, more than 200 service providers, wholesalers, retailers, compliance officers, VP sales, customs brokers, insurance brokers, consultants, and government representatives from the US Department of Forestry, Fish and Wildlife, or other customs and border officials were present, mostly from the US but with a notable presence from operators coming from Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

They came to hear the latest updates on wood trade, educate themselves, gather critical market insights and business intelligence, and find new vendors & suppliers. In addition to an engaging program of formal presentations on various critical subjects such as updates on CITES, the Lacey Act, the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), and information on current homeland security wood investigations, among others, most of the networking happened during breakfasts, lunches, and evening dinners at the exciting and welcoming restaurants around the venue.

There were also other events such as a boat trip, a morning run, and cocktails and receptions organized and sponsored by some of the IWPA members, which provided opportunities for many transactions and business deals.

For ATIBT, attending this convention brought several benefits. Being part of the panelists reinforced our relationship with IWPA. IWPA and ATIBT have been informal partners for many years, but we are now developing closer ties and collaborating more tightly on subjects such as the new EU Deforestation Free Regulation or combining our knowledge on CITES-related issues.

Being in San Diego was also a great opportunity for ATIBT to interact with the US members such as Adentra, Baillie Lumber, ETT Fine Woods, and The Penrod Company, and to share insights with the many European members that also attended the event. Caroline and Nathalie had many informal chats with representatives from Bozovich, Timtrade, Tradelink, Rougier, Interholco, CIB Olam, Basso Legnami, and Alpicam, among others.

One main objective of our presence at this event was to promote the ASP Program, which aims to promote sustainable timber from Cameroon. ATIBT was able to distribute brochures presenting four Cameroonian companies.

One of the highlights of the conference was Caroline's participation in the Overseas Panel, where she delivered a presentation on the EUDR and how ATIBT supports and guides its members in addressing the regulation and its challenges. A key point of Caroline Duhesme's presentation was to demonstrate how Forest Stewardship Council and PEFC International certifications serve as reliable tools to establish readiness for the implementation of the new regulation. The American Hardwood Export Council and the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) also presented their market specifics and highlighted the challenges that this new regulation will bring to the market. 

This presentation and the overall participation in this event are great ways to establish ATIBT's presence in the US and increase its visibility. The ultimate goal is to motivate new American companies to join our association.

We are looking forward to the next edition in 2025, which will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana!