What makes a good trade association?

What makes a good trade association?

ARTICLE · By Builders Merchant Journal · April 2022

David Hopkins, CEO of Timber Development UK, explains how the merger of TRADA and Timber Trade Federation will help strengthen the timber supply chain.

*This article was originally published in Builders’ Merchants Journal’s April 2022 issue

What makes a good trade association? They exist within almost every industry – and often in many subsectors – and they work to raise awareness of their members, their members’ products or services, and the benefits of choosing those products over alternative options.

But a good trade association should be much more than just a flag-waving exercise; they should also provide valuable support and business guidance to their members and the industry as a whole. That guidance can take many forms. It could mean providing the latest market statistics and resources to members, acting as a conduit between their members and the wider supply chain, and representing their interests to government by lobbying and communicating our stance over relevant legislative changes.

Any trade association worth their salt should offer all of the above benefits and many more, acting unfailingly on behalf of their members to seek new opportunities that benefit the entire sector.

The Timber Trade Federation has been supporting timber traders for more than 125 years. Our members account for around 85% of the £10 billion UK timber industry, including timber importers, merchants, agents and manufacturers.

Just like our members, we are constantly developing and growing, which is why we made the decision to merge with TRADA (The Timber Research and Development Association) to form Timber Development UK. Thanks to this merger Timber Development UK will be the largest timber association in the UK, with more than 1,500 members extending right across the supply chain from sawmill to specifier, and from architect to specifier.

Embracing the entire timber supply chain will allow us to speak on your behalf to enhance and promote the specification and use of timber products in the modern construction industry. We will also be able to expand our influence and raise our political voice to government and regulators, ensuring that we are better able to promote the benefits of using timber compared with other, less environmentally friendly construction materials.

We are determined to site Timber Development UK firmly at the centre of the timber supply chain, while strengthening our collaborative partnerships with our fellow trade associations in the wider timber-using sector, including the Structural Timber Association, Wood Protection Association, Swedish Wood, and the Confederation of Timber Industries, among others.

We want to create one supply chain with one vision for the sector. To feed information right through the supply chain and provide the right member services for every point along that chain. We will provide an end-to-end service linking producer to end user, offering resources, training, guidance and lobbying with one voice, so that timber can take its place as the first-choice sustainable construction material.

Over the coming months TTF and TRADA will continue to operate as we gradually introduce Timber Development UK to the market and integrate the two organisations under that single brand.

All the latest news, market data and resources from Timber Development UK can still be found at www.ttf.co.uk, but if you’d like to learn more about our new brand, visit http://timberdevelopment.uk for more details.

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