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Business News of Friday, 3 June 2005

Source: GNA

European timber buyers call for legality of products

Kumasi, June 3, GNA - European Timber Buyers have called on the Ghana timber industry to get their products independently verified to guarantee their legality so as to enable them meet the new European Union (EU) market demands.

The buyers, including the United Kingdom (UK), Germany and Italy, said the call was necessary because the big European markets for Ghanaian timber products, are now seriously demanding independently verified legal timber from suppliers, as a condition for their entry into European markets.

The call was contained in a press release jointly issued in Kumasi on Friday by the UK Timber Trade Federation and the Ghana Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines.

The release explained that what makes the demand more compelling on the Ghanaian timber buyer is the fact that the demand was being vigorously pushed along by EU member state Government's timber procurement policies, "that dictate buying decisions in at least 20 percent of the EU market".

"This apart, the EU is also currently finalising a scheme that will exclude unverified timber from those countries participating in the Voluntary Partnership Agreement", it further stated.

The release however assured timber industrialists in the country that Ghana is well placed to meet the challenges being posed by the European buyers and EU, since an independent audit of current timber harvest practice in the country indicate that the products are being extracted in accordance with the forest law.

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