David Rutley


From left to right: Stephen Kerr MP (Chair of the APPG and Expert Working Group); Steve Roebuck (Director, Norbord); David Rutley MP (Minister, DEFRA); John Paterson (Director, Egger Forestry); Chris Emery (Timber Procurement Executive, Kronospan); Rt Hon Brian Wilson.

Members of the Expert Working Group and the APPG for the Wood Panel Industry met with David Rutley MP on 13th March 2019 to discuss supply and demand issues facing the industry, resulting from a lack of security surrounding domestic wood. The impact of existing UK energy policy on the wood panel industry and policy options available to combat the unintended consequences of biomass subsidy were highlighted as follows:

  1. Achieve a commitment to align policy across the UK with a focus upon improving long-term wood security through increased planting.

This was led by members companies of the Wood Panel industries Federation – John Paterson (Director, Egger Forestry), Steve Roebuck (Director, Norbord) and Chris Emery (Timber Procurement Executive, Kronospan).

The following policy options were led by Alastair Kerr (Director of the Wood Panel industries Federation) and the Rt Hon Brian Wilson:

  1. Remove the subsidies which cover woody biomass and create a competitive, free market for all wood users competing for a finite resource base
  2. Restrict the total quantity of wood supply that can be consumed as wood fuel by recipients of subsidy payments on an annual basis and/or restrict the type of wood that biomass plants in receipt of subsidies can use as fuel
  3. Adopt a technology neutral approach ensuring that renewables subsidies are equalised and biomass does not receive a higher rate than is justifiable based upon the available evidence.