Expert Working Group

Expert Working Group for the Wood Panel Industry

Since the APPG for the Wood Panel Industry was relaunched in June 2018, it has undertaken a commitment to contribute to key policy areas by establishing an Expert Working Group comprising individuals with key Sectoral and Industry experience in partnership with Parliamentarians. This Group has explored the barriers the industry faces and makes key recommendations that would support the Wood Panel Industry.

To date, three editions of the Expert Working Group’s report have been published. In 2023, the APPG, in collaboration with its counterparts in Scotland and Wales, launched the process of producing the Fourth Edition of the report which will be published in the Autumn of 2023.

Fourth Edition of the Expert Working Group Report for the Wood Panel Industry, 2023

For the first time, a newly constituted Expert Working Group has brought together Parliamentarians from each of Great Britain’s national parliaments (Westminster, Holyrood and the Senedd) in an effort of cross-border collaboration to bring a coherent and consistent approach to forestry policy and the needs of the wood panel industry across mainland Great Britain.

The complete Terms of Reference for the Fourth Edition Expert Working Group can be found – here

Chaired by former UK Energy Minister, Rt Hon Brian Wilson CBE, the Fourth Edition Expert Working Group Report comprised of the following Parliamentarian and Industry Members:

Parliamentarian Members
» Selaine Saxby MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Wood Panel Industry, Conservative MP for North Devon
» Fergus Ewing MSP, Convener of the Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on the
Wood Panel Industry, SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Inverness and Nairn
» Ken Skates MS, Welsh Parliamentary Member of the Expert Working Group, Labour Member of the Senedd Cymru for Clwyd South

Industry Members
» Alastair Kerr, Director General of the Wood Panel Industries Federation (WPIF)
» John Paterson, Public Affairs Manager, EGGER UK
» Chris Emery, Timber Procurement Executive, Kronospan
» Steve Roebuck, Director EHS at West Fraser (Formerly Norbord)

The report highlights the economic and environmental benefits of the wood panel industry and provides policy recommendations for Governments across the UK to address the insecurity of wood supply which, at present, is limiting the industry to meeting only 65% of UK demand for their products.

We look forward to publishing the report in due course.  

Previous Editions of the Expert Working Group Report

Published in 2021, the members of the Third Edition of the Expert Working Group were:

  • Stephen Kerr MP, Chair of the Expert Group and APPG for Wood Panel Industry  
  • Alastair Kerr, Secretary of the WPIF and Director General of the WPIF
  • Rt Hon Brian Wilson CBE, former UK Energy Minister and now member of the UK Board of Trade
  • David Sulman, Executive Director of the UK Forest Products Association 
  • George McRobbie, Managing Director of Tillhill Forestry 
  • Ian Ross, former Chairman of Scottish National Heritage and Chartered Forester

The Report set about to asses:

  • The challenges facing the wood panel sector due to a lack of security of domestic wood supply.
  • How the industry can meet 100% of UK demand for wood panel products post Brexit.
  • How it can coexist with the wood processing and wood fuels sectors which also rely on a finite domestic wood supply.

Comments are closed.