Markets and Marketing of High-Value (Luxury) Tropical Hardwoods in Europe
FAO published in 1991 a study on "High-Value Markets for Tropical Sawnwood, Plywood and Veneer in the European Community" with the aim of drawing attention to the need for a change in the marketing practices, which appeared to be based on a highly commodity-oriented approach. The study identified principal high-value end uses for tropical sawnwood, veneer and plywood. It also quantified and described the markets in each of the principal end-use segments. The raw material for tropical hardwood sawnwood, veneer and plywood that time almost exclusively originated from natural forests. Recent studies of new trends, carried out under the project "Hardwood Plantations in the Tropics and Sub-Tropics" indicate, however, that an increasing volume of high-value tropical hardwoods, especially teak, will originate from plantations with a likely impact on the availability, costs, product characteristics and other marketing factors.
Objective of the Study
The objective of the study is to provide an up-to-date, quantified, description of the current and future markets of high-value tropical sawnwood, veneer and plywood in Europe (with a rough comparison to the markets in North America and Japan) and a comprehensive description of the main marketing factors for accessing the markets.
The aim of the study is also to contribute to the identification of important attributes, which can be used in marketing of tropical hardwoods in general and plantation-grown tropical hardwoods in particular, to various end-use segments.
The study will contribute, among other purposes, to the conclusions of the report of the project "Hardwood Plantations in the Tropics and Sub-Tropics".
Duties of the Recipient Organization
Under the general direction of the Director, Forest Products Division, and the direct supervision of the Senior Forestry Officer in charge of the Forest Products Marketing Programme, in close collaboration with relevant technical officers of the Divisions concerned, the Recipient Organization will co-ordinate the study work, collect relevant data and information and carry out a study to analyse the current and potential markets and related marketing approaches for high-value tropical hardwoods in Europe. A particular emphasis would need to be given to the primary teak wood products, especially in view of their becoming increasingly available from plantation-grown timber.
More specifically, the Recipient Organization will provide the following:
1. Co-ordination of the study work.
2. A comprehensive study outline and a plan for collection of data and information.
3. Identify appropriate public and private data and information sources.
4. Collect and analyse relevant data and information through a desk research.
5. Collect relevant data and information through interviews during visits to selected countries.
6. Based on a thorough analysis of data and information:
· A description and quantification of current imports of tropical logs, sawnwood, veneer and plywood to Europe.
· A description and quantification of tropical sawnwood, veneer and plywood production (which is based on imported logs) in Europe.
· A description and quantification of apparent consumption of tropical sawnwood, veneer and plywood in Europe.
· A description and quantification of current markets for tropical sawnwood, veneer and plywood by main end-use segments in Europe (based on information from the selected countries [Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom]).
· An assessment of potential market prospects for tropical sawnwood, veneer and plywood by main end-use segments in Europe (based on information from the selected countries).
· An assessment of main marketing factors (product, channels of marketing and delivery, promotion and price) used in accessing the markets in the main end-use segments (based on information from the selected countries).
· A rough comparison of the European market for high-value tropical sawnwood, veneer and plywood with those in North America and Japan.
· Description of the main features of the current marketing/business environment and foreseen changes to it.
· An assessment of the impact of the current and foreseen changed marketing/ business environment on high-value tropical sawnwood, veneer and plywood marketing.
· Conclusions and recommendations for the maintenance and development of markets and appropriate marketing approaches for high-value tropical sawnwood, veneer and plywood in prospective end-use segments.
7. Drafting of a study report and a 1,000 word summary and their presentation to FAO Headquarters for a review by relevant FAO Technical Units. The draft report and the brief summary will be amended and finalized by the Recipient Organization in the light of the comments.