At long last it’s the tennis season. Grass courts mown with precision; Pimms; strawberries and cream. It’s a wonderful, floaty existence and with the potential for a British winner, many of us are excited as we await the first line call.

Yet underneath lurks another world; performance enhancing drugs and illicit substances abound, apparently.

The authorities tried to keep the lid on it, but finally it blew and the whole tennis roadshow became blighted. It’s now seen as a dodgy sport and it has cost them dearly and it’s terribly harsh on the vast majority of people involved who have done nothing wrong. So to the world of timber. Fine photographs of incredibly designed timber buildings abound, we’re gaining market share; we have high codes, standards and certification to ensure quality, legality and sustainability in all areas.

We’re enjoying growing interest and demand for hi-tech timber.

But is everything in our world perfect? Or course not. Ultimately if people want to cheat, they will. So it’s what we do to ensure the reputation of the timber industry against the actions of the few.

Because, sure as eggs are eggs, it will blow eventually, with potentially devastating consequences. The cases of Russian athletics, horsemeat lasagne, Volkswagen, Lance Armstrong and Maria Sharapova are all witness to that.

By the time you read this, the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) will have held its Plywood Summit, a meeting to try and gain the sector’s acceptance that we have work to do, particularly on products from outside the EU. My hope is this will empower us to move forwards and improve our systems, so we can give even more robust assurances on plywood.

Big, strong industries have been virtually eradicated before through time, circumstance and failure to move with the times.

I strongly suspect the hardwood plywood industry could go the same way, as it seems hell-bent on a race towards the bottom.

It all seems predicated on ‘I’ll do it for less’. There’s no effort to upsell what could be a wonderful product.

The big hope for a large part of the plywood sector is that we’ll recognise there’s work to do and accept third party accreditation, across all parts, not just structural.

Hopefully we can put elements into place that will secure specifications, standards and traceability, so we can prove what’s on the tin, is in the tin.

It’s won’t be easy, but there will be a massive prize for those who achieve it – market accessibility. TTF members will have products that are what they say they are and be able to prove it.

The TTF will promote this whole ethos to end-users and ask a very simple question – ‘why would you buy anything else and run the risk to your reputation?’

It will create a two-tier market and that’s deliberate. There will always be people offering products that might be OK, but without provenance.

Good luck with that, but TTF members will rely on evidence.

The Plywood Summit is the first in a five-setter. We know it will be a long slog, but with determination and skill, we will win. Game, set and match!