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Border Hardwood attends TTF European Oak conference. 

Border Hardwoods managing Director, Charlie Bevan-Jones and Sales Director Mick Fabre, were delighted to attend the European Oak Conference this year.

 The event was organized by the TTF and looked at the problems of rising price and increasing pressure on availability.

“This was a fantastic opportunity to have a general market overview of the European Oak industry”, commented Charlie, “it’s important that we stay connected and switched on with what’s happening in Europe.

 “There are currently so many worries in the industry, rising cost and an increased lack of raw product; these were all confirmed at the conference”, he added.

The lack of restriction on the export of round logs from France has resulted in a 181% increase in exports to China, resulting in a dramatic price increase. This is due to a recent reduction in tax from the Chinese government on the import of raw materials; this has increased export volumes from European countries and increased the price of the raw product, for buyers in the EU.

“This causes issues for us as British importers of hardwoods, as the cost of our raw material is rising”, Mick commented, “So events like this are really important to see what is going on and continue an atmosphere of cooperation with our European friends regardless of Brexit”.

Currently, the EU is trying to make laws to reduce the export of European timber to the Far East; thus increasing and protecting the timber trade in the European Union.

Charlie explained that “Although we have plenty of regulations on imports like the EUTR, exports are not as heavily regulated, and hopefully the EU will address this issue in a way that is best for European growers and timber merchants.

“The problem is, most of the forests in France where we source our timber are privately owned which makes legislation difficult to implement, it will be interesting to see what is in store for the industry over the next few years”

The availability of European Oak has also been affected by changes in the important and export of Oak from Croatia and Ukraine; this is mainly due to the impact of pests in Croatia and the implementation of Ukraine government’s measures to improve the domestic industry.

PEFC stakeholder field trip.

Recently, the sustainability officer for Border Hardwood, Tom Hiles attended the annual PEFC stakeholder field trip, which this year was in Lockerbie and jointly sponsored by Scottish Woodlands and James Jones and Sons.

The annual event was exclusively for PEFC stakeholders, the trip brings together companies and organizations who have interests and commitments to sustainability and more specifically PEFC.

The trip involved multiple site visits that demonstrated responsible forestry, sourcing and manufacture, essentially the whole chain of custody.

 Tom explained why events like this are important, “Attending stakeholder events like this is really important. As well as showing Border Hardwoods commitment and support of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, it provides the opportunity for stakeholders to share best practice, discuss current issues and establish links within the industry. Having the opportunity to visit a market leader such as James Jones & Sons was fantastic. Despite their specialty being softwood, seeing the size of their operation and the importance that PEFC and sustainability have for their business was of great interest. Like Border Hardwood, they use all co-products from their manufacturing processes and despite the scale, it was good to see the similarities in our two businesses.

On the second day, all members were invited to take part in a group roundtable discussion that centered on certification. One of the many positives that PEFC have is that the people who work for PEFC UK are very open and available for discussion and advice. As a result topics of discussion ranged from the standardization of the auditing processes to how PEFC can raise its own awareness, despite their limited marketing budget.

“For Border Hardwood Ltd, being PEFC certified is an important part of our commitment to sustainable supply. Any event where we can broaden our knowledge and understanding of responsible forestry and timber supply has to be worthwhile.  

“As much as local authorities and large corporations are starting to recognize the importance of the chain of custody, the challenge is now getting the everyday consumer to recognize and demand certified timber and make the sustainable choice.”

Border Hardwood Ltd Director Charlie Bevan- Jones goes to France.

This week Director Charlie Bevan Jones traveled 1800km on a four-day trip sourcing European Oak.

Charlie said, “I go and visit about nine of our European partners, it’s a good opportunity to go and say hello to our friends on the continent.”

“We purchased over 500m3 of high-quality European Oak, predominantly air dried beams.”The summer is a busy time at Border Hardwood Ltd, with acquiring new stock a priority.

“We currently stock over 400 different Oak products, along with 20,000cuft of air dried beams in stock, along with a sawn-to-size service.”

Here at Border Hardwood Ltd, we source only the best timber, hand selected from quality sawmills in Europe. This process allows us to check quality and grade before it arrives in the UK.

We only source timber from sawmills that are FSC and PEFC certified, meaning all of our Oak is sustainably grown and harvested by our suppliers.