Koelnmesse and the trade magazine MÖBELMARKT are inviting guests to attend the first-ever "spoga talk" at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, 5th September 2005. The new supporting event at the end of the second day of spoga Cologne - International Trade Fair for Sport, Camping and Garden Lifestyle (4th to 6th September 2005) - will address current issues related to outdoor furniture.
The event will be kicked off by an expert panel discussion on tropical wood. The discussion will be held in English and German and include representatives from the fields of trade and industry, politics, environmental organisations, and the affected countries.
Among the participants who have confirmed their attendance are Manfred Maus, founder and former supervisory board chairman of the internationally operating DIY and garden centre chain OBI; Frank Michel, managing director of the Federal Association of the German DIY, Building and Garden Specialist Stores (BHB); Mattias Reische, specialist for tropical wood policy at the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation; Pascal Strohl, product manager of the leading Swiss furniture company Möbel Pfister, for which he has served as a buyer in Asia for many years; Horst Heinrichs from Singapore, proprietor of Domus Ventures, a manufacturer of garden furniture with production locations in Indonesia, Vietnam and China; Hilary Thompson, Director Client Services at Tropical Forest Trust, UK; S.K. Tham, director of the Malaysian Timber Council; and Heiko Liedeker, managing director of FSC International. The panel discussion will be chaired by Helmut Merkel, editor-in-chief of MÖBELMARKT.
The aim of the event is to offer importers from the processing industry and trade greater security in dealing with products made from tropical wood. At the first "spoga talk", Koelnmesse and MÖBELMARKT want to address this issue in a pro-active and factual manner in response to repeated attempts by environmental organisations to broach this subject at spoga Cologne. At spoga Cologne, the garden furniture sector forms its own "fair within the
fair". This year, more than 640 companies will be exhibiting the world's largest and most comprehensive range of products for outdoor living at this venue.
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