|John Kissock: Illegal logging is not a feature of European timber production. Timber produced in Scotland largely comes from certified forests, managed either under the Forestry Stewardship Council or the Pan European Forest Certification systems. These systems have been specifically designed to ensure that our forests are sustainably managed.
The Timber Trade Federation whose members are generally involved in the importation of wood and wood products now have to comply with a responsible purchasing policy (RPP) which requires detailed quantification of risk of illegal activity from all sources of supply.
It is worth noting that the bulk of illegally felled timber in the Tropics is aimed at producing wood and wood products, rather it is perpetrated to produce bare land for agriculture or palm oil production. Unfortunately, on many occasions the timber industry unfairly carries the weight of the criticism for these activities.
The UK Government has also established an organisation called CPET (Central Point of Expertise in Timber Procurement) where the emphasis is placed on education, training and certification to ensure inspectors and building standards professionals understand and can address the issues.