Silva backs campaign to wipe out illegal timber trade

Silva Timber Products has become the first company in its field to pledge its backing for a campaign demanding tougher action against the trade in illegal and unsustainable timber.

The firm has joined WWF-UK’s Forest Campaign, which aims to put pressure on governments and the EU and has so far attracted over 100,000 signatures to its #SaveForests petition.

Silva joins more than 40 British companies which have signed a three-point pledge to:

  • Buy timber and timber products from sustainable sources by 2020;
  • Support the call for the EU to close loopholes in current timber regulations and therefore close the market to illegal timber;
  • Support the call for the British government and the EU to move to a market in sustainable timber and timber products by 2020.

Other signatories include retail giants Marks & Spencer, B&Q, John Lewis Partnership and Argos, supermarket chains Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, along with Network Rail, Sky, Redrow Homes and Travis Perkins. Companies have to be approved by WWF-UK before they can sign up to the campaign.

The EU Timber Regulation, which came into force in March 2013, aims to stop illegally logged timber from entering EU markets.

However, campaigners say there are so many loopholes that it means less than half the value of timber products coming into Europe is covered by it.

Silva, which is based in Widnes, Cheshire, and has a second showroom in west London, has grown into one of the UK’s biggest importers of speciality timber products used in commercial buildings, homes, eco-tourism developments, hotels, marinas and gardens.

Among the applications are cladding, roofing, decking, fencing and screens.

Silva only sources timber which is harvested legally and sustainably. It imports certified wood from across the globe, including western red cedar and yellow cedar from Canada, Siberian larch from Russia and hardwoods from Bolivia.

Managing director Nick Taylor said:

“This is an amazing campaign to be part of and being approved is a great achievement.

“This is a crucial time to take action. The world’s forests are shrinking fast and demand for wood products is set to triple by 2050.

“We need to act urgently to ensure the long-term health of forests, and the UK plays an important role in influencing the markets.”