Defra on fact finding mission!
In December Marigold Norman (Defra) along with colleagues from CPET visited a number of Saint-Gobain operations to see, first hand, how chain of custody is working. Marigold, with a background in NHS procurement is now responsible for implementing the UK Government timber procurement policy.
Andrew Venman of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution’s Timber Group extended the invitation and organised a comprehensive programme visiting a range of operations belonging to group companies Jewson and International Timber. Andrew commented, “Our view is that the Government timber policy is of the key drivers in the market place and we are committed to ensuring we maximise our volume of certified timber and actively encourage our customers to buy certified.”
The first visit started early morning on a very cold day at Jewson Internal Timber Supply in Newport Docks! The site is one of three major importing, manufacturing and distribution sites in the UK. David Whitehill the Manager at the Newport guided the group around the site explaining where activities and procedures had been changed to implement chain of custody. One significant addition to the manufacturing process was the introduction of end stamping the timber as either FSC or PEFC. This is in response to the problems of mixing the two schemes and helps identification of the timber when stored in a branch.
At International Timber’s Parkend facility, hosted by Steve Howard, the visitors were shown the wide variety of timber species bought under a range of legality schemes. The day ended with a walk around a typical Jewson branch where Andrew Venman demonstrated the final stages in the Jewson chain of custody process.
After the visit Marigold said, “It’s encouraging to see the investment in chain of custody that Jewson has undertaken. I am particularly pleased to hear that the justification for the investment has been influenced by the UK Government policy and its role in promoting legal and sustainable timber.”