TDUK Chairman’s AGM Speech

TDUK agm and conference

TDUK hosted its second official AGM last week amidst rail strikes and the blistering heat. Here’s TDUK Chairman, Chris Sutton’s speech.

It’s been two years since we started on the journey to create Timber Development UK. We are still very much at the start of that journey. From a public point of view, this is only the first step. Despite this, it has taken a lot of hard work and long hours to get to this point. Behind the scenes, it has been incredibly busy and work has not stopped since finally reaching an agreement with BM TRADA in February this year.

We want to create additional benefits for our members – existing members and new members – in one organisation. This means creating a vibrant network spanning sawmill to specifier and specifier back to sawmill. It means creating a better understanding between suppliers and their customers – and at all points across that supply chain. So, we have now created TDUK as a merged business – the two leading brands in the timber supply chain to achieve this. The team is growing to meet additional demands but also to bring in-house some of the work that was previously outsourced.

We have already created new relationships with key organisations, especially Edinburgh Napier University and NMITE as strategic partners. These will be so incredibly important for the future. You can see we’ve already got a good team and will have a more powerful team going forward.

It also gives us a bigger internal committee structure across multiple disciplines and subjects. There is still a lot of work to do to merge the activities of the old TRADA side into the activities of the other groups, especially with the regional associations. We’ll also be looking for new blood on the committees, new ideas and new people.

It’s a big change all around as you can see. But, it has already allowed us to start a number of projects such as the Net Zero Road Map. This is intended not just to highlight the low carbon nature of our products but also to give business leaders in our network the data they need to improve processes, reduce transport emissions and so on. It is these actions that investors are looking for in businesses as their own decisions get driven more by S & ESG considerations. This will also mean greater importance for inclusion, diversity, and other considerations possibly alien to the old timber guard but ones which are being taken on board in the new TDUK.

So, as you can see there is a lot that has been done, and an even bigger amount still to do, but, the structure and processes we have put in place now will enable us to grow and meet the challenges of the future for the good of the timber sector as a whole.