PEFC field trip gives customer delegates insight into timber certification

24 May 2017

A trip to Hexham and Prudhoe in North East England gave timber industry delegates and their customers an opportunity to see the harvesting and certification of forest products in action.

The trip was organised earlier this month by PEFC UK. The organisation’s fifth annual Stakeholder Field Trip and Meeting was sponsored by Egger UK, James Jones & Sons, and Scottish Woodlands.

The visit was designed to demonstrate the journey behind the harvesting of certified timber and what Chain of Custody certification means in practice and the value it adds to forest products.The trip aimed to give a select group of delegates, each representing an influential end user sector, a better understanding of sustainable forest management.

Participants learned why certification matters and what steps their particular sector can take to demonstrate its support for producers who have invested in responsible forest management.

Delegates visited the certified Winnows Hill Forest and had the choice of visiting a certified timber products manufacturing site (Egger) or a tissue products manufacturer (SCA), to better understand the important steps that underpin PEFC Chain of Custody certification.

The group included representatives from the timber and forestry sectors in addition to end users such as ASDA, Tesco, Debenhams, John Lewis, Keepmoat, Greggs and Whitbread.

After the site visits, an informal roundtable discussion centred on sustainable and responsible sourcing, consumer uptake, forest and Chain of custody certification and the challenges, benefits and business opportunities certification presents.

PEFC UK’s executive director Alun Watkins said: “I’d like to extend PEFC’s thanks to our hosts and sponsors in addition to the participants who made time to join us. The visit was designed to demonstrate certification in action and the links between the forest and the marketplace. We are keen to ensure that influential end users such as brand owners and retailers understand certification and what lies behind the PEFC label.”