Author archives:

PRESS RELEASE: Advocacy 2024: Circular Choices Coalition meets with Spanish EU Presidency

The Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU and a coalition of European trade associations representing 20% of the EU’s manufacturing companies gathered on 26 September in Brussels to debate how a circular bioeconomy could enable a more strategically autonomous, resilient and competitive Europe, while at the same time helping the EU navigate through global challenges, climate change and a move away from fossils.

Keynote speaker Alberto Ruiz, Counsellor for Industry at the Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU, highlighted industrial competitiveness and innovation as the priorities of the Spanish EU Presidency. Mr Ruiz noted that the green transition can be driven by new industrial models, should be fair and must put citizens at the centre of it.

The event featured insightful presentations from innovative companies across Europe, representing providers of high-quality wood, paper and fibre-based products. These companies showcased real-life examples on how the use of renewable bio-based resource is already driving the EU’s green growth engine, aligning with the objective of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.







EPF Managing Board Member and Unilin Panels CEO Veronique Hoflack inaugurated the TED talk-style session:

“ Sustainability is not optional; it is not a nice-to-have anymore, it is a need-to-have. Transforming waste into raw materials has been part of our history and is in our DNA. We never accept the status quo and today our particleboards consist of a staggering 95% recycled wood, a symbol of what’s possible when we challenge ourselves.

Mrs Hoflack called on the EU institutions to support such innovation with strong European policies supporting circular businesses and keeping industry thriving in Europe.

Ilkka Hämälä, Cepi chairman and CEO of Metsä Group, stated: “I am proud of what the Circular Choices Coalition represents, we are a coalition of believers bringing together 20 EU trade associations to develop an open cross-sectoral cooperation. Our promise is for our sectors to mitigate carbon emissions in the EU to the equivalent of at least 30% of EU fossil emissions by 2030, if EU policy decisions are made to support this direction.’ Mr Hämälä underlined that to achieve the industry’s targets, “attention to legislative coherence across the different policy areas as well as to the cumulative impacts of EU regulations is key.”

Hans Ingels, Head of Bioeconomy Unit in DG GROW concluded: “The EU Bioeconomy Strategy is key in achieving the EU Green Deal’s objectives. It is important that we work together with the industry to deliver to the next generations a new societal and economic model that is based on the circular use of biological and renewable resources.”

“The EU Green Deal’s success is intricately tied to manufacturing, and our coalition holds the key to shaping the next Commission’s priorities. Let’s seize this opportunity”, Director General at Cepi Jori Ringman concluded.

About the Coalition:

The Circular Choices Coalition comprises 14 EU trade associations supported by a further six trade associations that represent EU forest owners and managers. The Circular Choices members collectively represent experts in the EU forestry sector, the wood, fibre-based paper, and board products industry, and in renewable energy provision. The coalition represents 4 million direct employees, turns over €520 billion and sequesters, stores and substitutes 806 Mt CO2 eq annually, equivalent to 20% of EU total fossil emissions. We offer circular and affordable solutions to deliver a net-zero economy by optimising the use of sustainable and renewable wood and wood fibre-based products and energy in a responsible and resource-efficient manner.  Caring for the EU’s forests means caring for people’s needs. Sustainable forest management has been a success thanks to the commitment and efforts of forest owners and managers. Their decisions today will echo far into the future. Find out more here.

For further information, please contact EPF Administration and Communications Officer:

Mrs Isabelle Henin (, +32 2 556 25 89)

Dieffenbacher’s Anniversary celebrations – 150 years

Last Friday, EPF was delighted to attend Dieffenbacher’s celebrations in Eppingen, Germany. 2023 marks a significant milestone for this world class family-owned company, and EPF Associate Member, as it celebrates its 150 years of innovating and growing operations. The anniversary event focused both on what has been achieved, as well as what lies ahead, under the motto “Transformation on Solid Ground”.

Mr Christian Dieffenbacher (CEO) opened the celebrations with a keynote speech, as a representative of the 5th generation of a family business that began making fruit and wine presses. As Jakob Dieffenbacher’s great-great-grandson, he now leads this company which employs 1,700 people and generates more than 400 million € in annual sales.

Over the years, Dieffenbacher has been at the forefront of impressive progress and transformation, together with a commitment to sustainability and resource efficiency. This company is currently among the world leaders making high technology wood-panel presses for our sector.

The event was a good occasion for EPF to catch up with many of our members as well as to make new connnections.

A heartfelt thank you to the Dieffenbacher family and team for your invitation, dedication, and support, especially for having sponsored our last Annual General Meeting which took place in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Circular Choices for a competitive EU bioeconomy – Launch event – 26 September 2023, Thon Hotel EU, Brussels

The audience included around 100 executives and experts in the business ecosystem across Europe as well as media, think tanks, and national EU/policymakers.

EPF’s Managing Board Member and CEO of Unilin Panels, Mrs Veronique Hoflack, was one one of the speakers of the bioeconomy talks.

TED Talk-style session: BIOECONOMY TALKS, with highlights on

  • positive developments, business cases and examples of low-carbon innovations at national level across the sector
  • investments in the EU and challenges companies might face in the upcoming years

Panel debate: Supporting EU competitiveness for green industrialisation objectives

As the Spanish EU Presidency prioritises the reindustrialisation of the EU and how to ensure open strategic autonomy, the role of sustainable value chains of manufacturing industries, such as the ones represented by the Circular Choices Coalition, will be key.

It indeed provides meaningful employment, reduces continuing dependence of Europe on fossil resources and helps cutting carbon emissions of other sectors.

But this focus also opens new questions: How can EU sustainable industries remain competitive in the long term? How to ensure and re-build EU competitiveness while moving towards a circular bioeconomy?


In March 2023, Cepi launched the Circular Choices Coalition for a competitive EU bioeconomy, which promotes the policy and market conditions necessary in the EU to scale-up the circular bioeconomy. The coalition, which is the broadest ever within the sector, brings together 14 EU trade associations that represent providers of renewable products and renewable energy solutions -wood, fibre-based, paper, products and packaging, bioenergy industries. And it is supported by a further of six trade associations that represent EU forest owners and managers.

These integrated value chains are a pillar of the EU economy. They are also key for the strategic autonomy of Europe: they are renewable and sourced, made and recycled in Europe, with European technology. Together, they directly employ more than four million Europeans, representing 520 billion euro in annual turnover. It is also a manufacturing powerhouse: one in every five manufacturing companies in Europe are in this sector.

Copyright © 2023 Cepi – The Confederation of European Paper Industries. All rights reserved.

Applicants invited for new position: Technical Adviser

EPF is in search for an experienced and dynamic Technical Adviser.

This is a newly created position reflecting our growing activity. If you have a solid technical background combined with excellent communication and organisational skills, please do not hesitate to apply.

The full vacancy advertisement with more details on the job profile, on what we offer and on how to apply is available here.

For additional information, please contact senior HR-consultant Torben Callens (tel.: 09 243 40 80 / email:

Coalition for Circular Choices: EURACTIV Op-ed, September 2023

The Coalition for Circular Choices released Why we talk about a fossil-free EU, not a carbon-free one, an op-ed published by EURACTIV this Tuesday 5 September.

In 2019, EU greenhouse gas emissions would have been 20% higher had our sectors not existedWith the right policy conditions, and clear vision on the regulatory landscape, we could increase fossil emissions reduction in the EU to the equivalent of at least 30% of the bloc’s total CO2 emissions.

INTERVIEW: Anti-dumping measures – Imports of okoumé plywood from China


Last month, the Council of the European Union adopted the decision to extend anti-dumping (AD) duties on okoumé plywood imported into the EU from China. This decision came into force on 15 June 2023, one day after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. Okoumé plywood represents €150-200 million in product sales on the European market.

🔎 To better understand what this decision implies for the WBP industry, EPF asked for the expertise of

  • EPF Senior Economist Mr Orifjon Abidov
  • EPF Board Member and Chairman of the EPF Plywood Product Group Mr Mārtiņš Lācis

🔖 Full Interview

New European Bauhaus, central theme @ EPF AGM – Report

New European Bauhaus (NEB) was the focus of the Open Part of EPF AGM, preceded by welcoming addresses and by the public release of the 2022 EU wood-based panel industry results and insights on EPF’s Advocacy Programme 2023.

The event was held on Friday 23 June 2023 at the Fontán Building, Cidade da Cultura of Galicia, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, hosted by ANFTA and including the platinum sponsorship of Dieffenbacher.

The meeting was centred on two interactive sessions:

Our full report is available here. We wish you excellent reading.


PRESS RELEASE: EPF releases its Annual Report 2022-2023

Brussels, 05 July 2023

EPF is delighted to announce the publication of the 25th issue of its Annual Report, the reference handbook for the wood-based panels industry.

Printed copies of the EPF Annual Report 2022/2023 + USB-card are now available for purchase at the price of 1950 EUR.

The full table of contents is available here.

EPF is delighted to provide you with the order form and wishes you excellent reading.

This issue covers:

  • Facts and figures on the WBP industries in the EPF member countries and relevant data in other parts of the world
  • Maps showing the location of PB, MDF, OSB, fibreboard and plywood factories
  • Country by country reports
  • User Industries: focus on construction, furniture and flooring materials
  • Trade issues, including Customs Tariffs, updates on trade agreements, the Harmonised System and the New Combined Nomenclature
  • High-Level Advocacy
  • Environmental Topics
  • Organisation of the Federation

Thanks to external and internal contributions, it also contains 7 Special Topics:

An additional booklet gathers PB, MDF, OSB, HB/SB and plywood producers affiliated to EPF, with their product specialisation and full contact details of the national EPF member associations, the associated EPF members and the institutes collaborating with EPF.

For further information, please contact EPF Administration and Communications Officer:

Mrs Isabelle Henin

+32 2 556 25 89

Coalition for Circular Choices: EURACTIV Op-ed, June 2023

There is no time to lose. 2050 is only one investment cycle away!

This is the core message of the Coalition for Circular Choices in an op-ed published by EURACTIV this Thursday 29 June.

With a clear view on future policy, we will be able to make the investments needed to drive even further the transition to a competitive, circular bioeconomy in Europe.

What we are calling for:

  • A new kind of thinking on EU climate and industrial policy, allowing us to scale up a model combining economic growth, protection of forests and biodiversity
  • Securing strategic autonomy and materials supply supporting competitiveness
  • Strengthening the connection between the economy, our environment and climate

PRESS RELEASE: EPF AGM 2023 in Santiago de Compostela

Brussels, 26 June 2023

On 21-23 June, the European Wood-based Panels Federation held its Annual General Meeting in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. EPF Iberian association ANFTA hosted the gatherings in majestic settings, combining both traditional and modern perspectives.

In association with UNEmadera and with the generous sponsorship of Dieffenbacher, Siempelkamp, BASF, Govi, AFRY, Huntsman and Berndorf Band, EPF proudly welcomed about 200 professionals and high-level guests from across Europe and beyond.

Final consolidated 2022 results

2022 production fell by 7.8 % compared to 2021 and final numbers come close to the pre-crisis levels of 2019. 2022 was a year characterised by a relatively strong first half, followed by a weaker second half, caused by softening user demand and falling consumer confidence, affecting construction, furniture, packaging and other markets.

The outlook 2023 remains challenging, but with healthy long-term prospects for the natural, sustainable, climate positive WBP industry.


Highlights from EPF’s 5 Strategic Directions

EPF was delighted to share 5 current advocacy highlights from its 5 SDs:

  1. Heightened visibility of wood in New European Bauhaus (NEB)
  2. Cascade use to be included in legislation for the first time (REDIII)
  3. Increased political support for use of wood to rise from 45 % to > than 60 %
  4. Successful outcome to projects ‘New Standard’ and ‘E1 Compulsory’ regulation
  5. High level access coming from the Coalition for Circular Choices (4 million jobs in Europe)


EPF’s General Assembly unanimously re-elected Mr Martin Brettenthaler, CEO of SWISS KRONO GROUP, for another 2-year term as Chairman.

‘A vital EPF is now needed more than ever: On the one hand, wood-based panels offer key solutions to the global fight against climate change – the most important societal and economic challenge of our time. On the other hand, our industry is under threat: Our raw material is contested by other, often subsidised user groups, regulation and red-tape on all levels is steadily increasing and as an energy-intensive industry with global competition we are especially exposed to the unrealistic energy policies in several European countries.

The General Assembly also nominated two additional Members to the Managing Board:

Mr Baptiste de Sutter (Linex Panneaux, France)

Mr Jarosław Michniuk (Paged, Poland)

The next EPF AGM will take place on 19-21 June 2024 in Riga, Latvia, hosted by Latvijas Finieris.

For further information, please contact EPF Administration and Communications Officer:

Mrs Isabelle Henin

+32 2 556 25 89

Verified by ExactMetrics