Published on 24 May 2017
Hexham and Prudhoe in North East England were the location of the fifth annual PEFC Stakeholder Field Trip and Meeting on the 17-18 May. Hosted by PEFC UK and co-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 is now one of the most commonly recognised labels for sustainable forest management and its distinctive ‘two trees’ logo appears on forest products around the world providing assurances of legal and sustainable sourcing.
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”.