Forestry Minister praises Confor crisis response

16 April 2020

The UK Forestry Minister has praised Confor for its role in co-ordinating the sector's response to the enormous challenges of Covid-19 - and promised support for the industry during the recovery phase.

Zac Goldsmith wrote to Chief Executive Stuart Goodall to thank Confor for its valuable work during the crisis - especially the creation of its web hub.  

His letter said: "The Confor COVID-19 hub is a welcome contribution and I would like to thank you for working closely with officials throughout this challenging time." 

The letter clarified the role of key workers in forestry and wood processing and continued:  "The Government is collecting evidence of the impacts of coronavirus and I greatly thank you for your coordinating role for the industry in this. I want to reassure the forestry sector that we will work with you to minimise damage to businesses during the outbreak and help you to resume activities at the earliest opportunity." 

Mr Goodall said: "It's good to see the Minister recognising the significance of the forestry and wood processing sector and signalling his desire to work with Confor to help industry resume activities generally when markets recover.” 

Confor is developing protocols for safe working and will continue to support businesses through its Covid-19 Hub. 

“The forestry and wood industry hub has been praised by public forestry bodies and the feedback from members has generally been very positive – I would encourage businesses to keep visiting it," said Mr Goodall. "We have also had positive feedback for the letters of comfort we created, explaining why parts of the sector have continued to work in a safe and responsible fashion. In some cases, we have been told that jobs which might have been lost have been protected specifically by these letters. 

"There has also been positive feedback on the social media campaign we ran to explain why businesses are still working, and I would encourage everyone to keep promoting the videos we have put together. 

“While the lockdown of course continues, in the coming weeks we will undertake further work to help plan for getting the sector get back on its feet as we begin to anticipate the recovery phase."