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FIRA spurs Biomass Subsidies debate

The Furniture Industry Research Association recently hosted a Biomass Summit at its Stevenage-based head office.

The event brought together key industry leaders to discuss how government subsidies encouraging power companies to burn wood are distorting the market for new timber, and forcing up prices for the manufacturing of furniture products.

Subsidies paid to energy companies to burn wood in order to create biomass energy is artificially lifting prices by as much as 50% for furniture manufacturers, and ultimately leading to higher prices for consumers.

The biomass summit held at the FIRA headquarters was attended by many furniture industry leaders including representatives from many of the industry's trade associations, including the Wood Panel Industries Federation, British Retail Consortium, British Furniture Manufacturers association, British Contract Furniture Association and the British Furniture Confederation as well as furniture manufacturer Senator International, retail giant Home Retail Group (parent to Argos and Homebase), The Decorative Panels Group and also representatives from manufacturer of wood based panels, Egger.
"The burning of virgin wood is hitting the furniture industry hard, and is leading to increased costs in a delicate economic climate," explains Jonny Westbrooke, FIRA COO.

"The Biomass Summit bought together industry leaders to discuss how we can restore the balance in timber pricing, by encouraging biomass power in the UK to be produced through burning of recycled wood products or waste wood products created by furniture manufactures. It has been a fantastic achievement to get so many key players around the table to discuss an issue which affects the furniture industry at all levels."

A second meeting will take place later today, during which the groups hope to agree their next course of action, with the aim of preventing the subsidy cap of 12.5% burning of virgin wood being raised further, hence further increasing costs.

T: +44 (0)1438 777 730
E: [email protected]
W: www.fira.co.uk

27th May 2011

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