The 16 members of the Olympic Supply Panel have been announced, completing a four-month evaluation process.

Cynics in the trade have said that the Panel and the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) controls will still not prevent uncertified timber getting on to the Games site. But I’ll wager a pint that nothing uncertified will get through the unique-to-timber purchasing system and double auditing.

A pint would be a relatively small price to pay. As the ODA’s Peter Bonfield has said, if you supply uncertified material to the Olympics you’re off the panel. The reputational damage of that could be fatal.

I’m sure the companies on the panel will meet the challenge. They will, I know, have the due diligence systems for ensuring what they supply is as requested. And I hope they are rewarded for it, as they are taking on the environmental risk for customers.

Others should watch carefully. Last week the European Union unveiled proposals for a law to block illegal timber imports. Thanks to lobbying from the TTF and others, the EU system will require due diligence from the trade. Simply put, if you don’t properly check your wood and wood products are legal, you’re in hot water.

The UK trade got to this position some time ago. The TTF’s Responsible Purchasing Policy is a due diligence tool and our requirement for members to undertake due diligence is likely to win EU approval under its new legislation.

If anyone doubts the positive impact such measures can have, they should have heard the views of producer countries at the recent Timber Trade Federation day in Geneva. They listened very carefully to these new market demands. Years of voluntary effort by consuming countries are now being backed up by serious legislation. It is not a moment too soon.

And this is not just going to apply to tropical hardwoods; the new law applies equally to European and US products too.

If anyone in the trade does not now understand the importance of credible and robust due diligence, it won’t be the current economic conditions that kill their business, it will be lack of customers and lack of suppliers or, indeed, a potential spell in jail!