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Arbor Forest Products joins with WWF to tackle forest destruction

Arbor Forest Products has joined other British businesses from the timber, construction, publishing, DIY and grocery industries in becoming the first UK firms to commit to responsible forest trade.

The move will help end deforestation around the world with a shift to 100% sustainable timber and wood products by 2020.

Arbor Forest Products and other well-known firms such as M&S, Penguin Random House, and Carillion have signed up to WWF-UK’s forest campaign. WWF is campaigning to close the legal loopholes in the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR), which mean less than 50% of the value of timber products coming into Europe are confirmed as coming from legal sources.

Illegal and unsustainable logging contributes to deforestation and degradation across the world’s most important forest regions, such as Russia’s Far East, Central Africa, Latin America and South East Asia, and has massive impacts on the habitats of some of the world’s most endangered species, as well as local people and indigenous communities in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The Coalition government previously made a commitment to make it a criminal offence in the UK to import or possess illegal timber, but legal loopholes mean that everyday objects such as chairs, books and musical instruments are currently not included in the EUTR.

Julia Young, manager of the WWF Global Forest and Trade Network UK, said: “We all use products from the forests daily in our homes and at work, from the chairs we sit on to the books we read, and for businesses it’s essential to have a sustainable supply of materials, for now and tomorrow. The businesses signing up know this and are taking action to ensure a future for our forests. It’s time for the government to make good on its promises to do the same.”

Jason Ostler, commercial director at Arbor Forest Products, said: “We fully believe that British merchants and customers have the right to access legally sourced timber products, and we fully support WWF-UK’s campaign to close the legal loopholes in the European Union Timber Regulation.

“Our business has been running for more than 60 years, and we want to continue to flourish long into the future. In order to do that, we rely only on sustainably sourced timber.”