THE GUARDIAN ESTIMATED A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO THAT AROUND ONE MILLION CUBIC METRES OF ILLEGAL TIMBER WAS BEING IMPORTED INTO THE UK PER YEAR – NEARLY 10% OF ALL TRADE!
When you spend money on something, you want it to be of the utmost quality, you want it to be at a fair and reasonable price, and you want the re-assurance that you’re getting the real deal. This is particularly important in the timber trade, as illegal timber is a global issue with very serious repercussions. We thought we would take a look at the problem, and what it really means.
The problems associated with buying illegal products are consistent; you cannot be sure of their sourcing and integrity, there is no guarantee over their safety, and you certainly don’t know where the money you spend is actually going.
These problems are all applicable to the illegal timber industry – but what exactly do we mean by illegal timber? WWF describe it as ‘when timber is harvested, transported, processed, bought or sold in violation of national or sub-national laws.’
When you think of illegal timber and logging, the mind instinctively jumps to images of destroyed forests that have stood for centuries. But, there is also a range of wider consequences, including stripping the economies and local communities of a chance to earn a living.
In terms of the scale of the problem, The Guardian estimated a couple of years ago that around one million cubic metres of illegal timber were being imported into the UK every year. This is a staggering statistic that shows how much of this stuff is around, and just how careful you need to be.
On a global level, a report by Chatham House estimated that illegal imports still account for nearly 10% of total trade.
The only way to make sure that the timber you are buying is sound, legal and sourced both ethically and sustainably is to go to a supplier, like us here at Quercus, with a current FSC certificate.
We guarantee to our customers that any wood product we supply will have undergone a due diligence process to assure legality, based on all information available to meet with the requirements of The European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR).
If you would like to know any more information about our approach to ethically sourcing timber then click here.