The Timber Trade Federation has appointed Mark O’Brien as its first
head of public affairs, with a brief to push the interests of timber
importers and vendors to MPs in Westminster and Brussels.
O’Brien’s appointment follows an internal review which concluded that
the TTF needed to take a more proactive PR approach. He reports to Paul
Martin, acting director general of the organisation.
PR for the TTF was previously handled by Martin, while organisations
such as the Confederation of British Industry were also relied upon to
promote the federation’s stance.
O’Brien joins from the House of Commons, where he was political
assistant to Opposition whip John Randall.
The TTF’s 200,000 members include importers and timber yard merchants
who deal in wood from around the world. Some is harvested in countries
with poor environmental monitoring systems - an issue over which the
industry has clashed with environmentalists.
’I’ll be promoting timber as environmentally friendly - putting forward
the case that it’s more energy efficient to produce than steel or
concrete, and more energy efficient to dispose of. Other issues, such as
transport and the cost of fuel, will also be top of my agenda,’ said
He will also liaise with the industr’s trade press and aim to forge
closer links with environmental journalists.