IFN General Meeting 2023:
Good prospects for the "tenderloin of the tree

IFN General Meeting 2023: Good prospects for the "tenderloin of the tree Bonn/Stockerau. A full house at the general meeting of the Bonn-based Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN), which was held for the first time in Stockerau, Austria, on June 22 and 23, 2023. The IFN member frischeis had invited the guests and made the company's own JAF Academy available as a conference venue. The introduction to the important industry meeting with almost 40 participants was a comprehensive report by IFN Chairman Axel Groh, who has been successfully serving the "fillet of the tree" in this capacity for 10 years.

According to Groh, the market volume for veneer in 2022 again increased slightly in many European countries and also in Germany. "After the pandemic dip, imports and exports of veneer were able to increase significantly again and production in Germany increased slightly. Thus, 2022 was a very satisfactory year overall," Groh summed up. He also drew a positive picture for 2023: "We are assuming an economically good first and second quarter in the veneer sector. According to industry surveys, however, the first months are characterized not only by incoming orders but also by the processing of orders and projects that are still available," said Groh. He added that an overall forecast for 2023 is not possible due to the many uncertainties and risk factors. "Inflation, strong fluctuations in energy prices and, last but not least, unclear political objectives are already leading to a decline in the investment and consumption mood of private consumers in Germany. As a result, building applications are declining and there is more than just a summer lull in the furniture trade," says the IFN chairman. However, veneer is a trend material with potential, which could further develop into a substitute for unecological materials and surfaces.

Following a report on the office's fields of activity, the IFN members who had arrived welcomed the day's guest speaker - Dr. Klaus Hennenberg from the Öko-Institut - and listened to his keynote speech on the "Role of forest management for climate protection" as well as the contributions of other speakers on the EUTR/EUDR and the successful interzum 2023. The EU project on naming products, which is supported by the IFN, received particular attention. The fact is that names of plants or tree-based raw materials, such as the word "oak", constitute an environmental claim in terms of consumer protection. The aim is therefore that only genuine oak may also be presented with the product name oak, as otherwise consumers may be misled and greenwashing may occur. Only genuine wood has the ecological, sustainable, biodegradable and recyclable properties. This argumentation is to result in an EU regulation. Currently, the legal reviews of the submission are underway under the project title: "Truth in Naming Initiative".

At the subsequent dinner, which was characterized by lively discussions, Austrian media representatives were invited in addition to a number of guest companies. The final highlight of this year's IFN General Meeting was a plant tour on Friday, June 23, 2023, led by Klaus Mittmasser, product manager at frischeis and member of the IFN Board of Directors, which met with lively interest among the participants. IFN/DS

Initiative Veneer + Nature (IFN) The Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN) e.V. was founded in 1996 by the German veneer industry and its partners. Today it is supported by European companies from the veneer industry, the trade and the veneer processing industry as well as trade associations of the wood industry. The aim of the association is to promote veneer as a natural all-round material.

About the JAF Group JAF Group, known in Austria as J. u. A. Frischeis, is an international wood wholesaler and one of the leading European suppliers of wood and wood-based materials. With around 3,000 employees, JAF is represented at 72 locations, in 16 countries and on 2 continents. Since its foundation in 1948, JAF has established itself as a strong partner for the wood processing industry, for the construction industry and for resale. With strong logistics, modern production facilities and a wide range of digital solutions, JAF guarantees the greatest possible flexibility and modern service.

Further information on the subject of veneer at JAF.de or

Picture: The participants of the IFN General Meeting 2023. Photo: Sepp Kühnhold, Kirchgasser Furniere/IFN

June 26, 2023

The participants of the IFN General Meeting 2023. Photo: Sepp Kühnhold, Kirchgasser Furniere/IFN