Speakers Announced: UK Softwood Conference 2020

Speakers Announced: UK Softwood Conference 2020

ARTICLE · By Timber Trade Federation · 27 Jan 2020

The keynote speaker and speakers have been announced for this year’s UK Softwood Conference 2020, which takes place at 8 Northumberland Avenue on Wednesday 4 March 2020, with more speakers to be announced shortly.

The event will address how the timber industries can play a crucial role in solving the housing crisis, discuss the possible impacts of Brexit on the industry in more depth, the trade war between America and China, look at the housing and rebuild markets in the UK, and critical supply issues for the coming year in Europe.

Keynote Speaker

Noble Francis, Economics Director of Construction Products Association (CPA)

Economics Director of the Construction of Products Association (CPA), Noble Francis, will deliver a presentation on the housing & rebuild market, focusing on the rise of public housing output in comparison to the projected fall in private housing starts and outputs. He will also explore the potential impact of Brexit on the financial markets and what influence this would cause to the construction industry and timber supply chain.

Noble’s credentials are first class as he is the Economics Director at the Construction Products Association (CPA). He has a Masters Degree in Economics and a PhD in Applied Econometrics, along with over 15 years of experience producing economic forecasts. Him and his team produces the quarterly Construction Industry Forecasts, Construction Trade Surveys, State of Trade Surveys and various bespoke research. His work is regularly featured in the Financial Times and other dailies, numerous UK construction trade press, television and radio. In 2018, he was appointed Honorary Professor at the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management at UCL



Olle Berg, Marketing Director of Setra

Marketing Director at Setra, Olle Berg, will be discussing the global economic influences that are affecting rising demand, the global supply chain and the impact the American and China trade war is having on the softwood market and the UK timber industries.

Olle Berg is the Marketing Director at Setra, having been part of the Stora Enso family since 1997 until 2013. In 2009, he became Senior Vice President of Marketing & Sales and then Senior Vice President of Overseas & Distribution at Stora Enso. From 2013 he joined Setra, one of Sweden’s largest wood product companies and a leading player in Europe.

Olle Berg

David Hopkins, CEO of Timber Trade Federation

The Chief Executive Officer of the Timber Trade Federation, David Hopkins, will examine how the timber industry can enhance its influence in the market, such as how timber can solve the housing crisis, addressing concerns over fire and introducing a new campaign, Wood CO2ts less. The campaign is to educate and promote wood as a sustainable and carbon effective solution.

David Hopkins is the Chief Executive Officer of the Timber Trade Federation and a Director of the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI). David is a former environmental journalist and has worked for most UK national newspapers as well as editing a number of trade & industry titles focused on utility and environmental markets. Following this, he became a co-founding director of Carbon International, a clean-technology and environmental industries market development consultancy with clients including the London Stock Exchange and the World Bank. He is also a founder and non-executive director of low-carbon community charity, Carbon-Leapfrog – providing pro-bono professional services for social enterprise.


Nick Moore, Managing Director of TimberTrends

Managing Director of TimberTrends, Nick Moore, will be analysing the latest market statistics in the timber industry, dissecting the data to find the trends that will enable your business to be ahead of the curve.

Nick Moore specialises in the analysis and provision of information for the timber and construction industries. Providing market intelligence, forecasting and statistical services for a number of timber industry and construction associations and private clients. Nick has served for many years as a member of the Forestry Commission’s “Expert Group on Timber and Trade Statistics,” whose remit is to advise the Commission on the improvement of UK timber industry statistics.

nick moore

Kevin Hayes, Managing Director of AKZ Timber

In September last year Kevin celebrated 40 years in the industry.  He started in the agency world with Thomas Simson and did his sawmill training in Siljan, Sweden.

He moved to Brandts to run the Finnish Sales Department before switching sides to 10 years of buying with Meyer International, sourcing timber from North America and Scandinavia. Kevin then went on to become MD of a Meyer subsidiary before a brief spell back in agency world with UCM. In 1997 he set up the UK Sales Office for Latvian sawmill Nelss which in 2009 morphed into what is now AKZ.  It’s a production of circa 250,000m3 of which approximately 60% comes to the UK.     

Kevin lives just outside London in Kent and describes life with his Latvian wife, Stella as “enjoying the empty nest”.  He keeps fit by running with his two gundogs and still thinks he can play a bit of soccer each week. Otherwise travel is top of his agenda and with two boys and three girls, family life is never dull.   


For the full agenda and to book your tickets, please click here.