The PEFC Group at Winnows Hill

Member Article

Northumberland companies showcase their environmental credentials

Hexham and Prudhoe played host to some of the UK’s largest users of wood and paper products, during a fact-finding visit organised by leading international sustainability group PEFC.

As well as delegates from the timber and forestry sectors, end-users such as ASDA, Tesco, Debenhams, John Lewis, Keepmoat, Greggs and Whitbread had the opportunity to learn more about sustainable forest management.

The group stayed at Slaley Hall hotel, visited a certified woodland at nearby Winnows Hill and went to two major local businesses – wood-based panels manufacturer EGGER in Hexham and Prudhoe-based tissue-products maker SCA – to see how PEFC Chain of Custody certification works in Northumberland.

Sponsored by sawmiller James Jones & Sons, Scottish Woodlands and EGGER Forestry, the visit was designed to show them how their particular sector could demonstrate its support for producers who have invested in responsible forest management. 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.

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.”

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) through independent third-party certification. It works by endorsing national forest certification systems developed collaboratively by all interested stakeholders and tailored to local priorities and conditions.

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