Companies with a clear strategy, rather than relying on price, will survive the current recession, Timber Trade Federation (TTF) president Kevin Hayes has said.

Speaking at the Western Timber Association dinner in Bristol last week, Mr Hayes said if companies just flog their products, “the only weapon in the armoury becomes price”.

“How about supplying quality, providing a service and selling a brand? These are the things that will see us through and not devalue our markets,” said Mr Hayes.

He acknowledged the severity of the current economic crisis but said poor trading times also offered opportunity for positive and creative thinking.

“It might be new products better suited to conditions, or a way to help out your cash-strapped suppliers or customers. Certainly some positive attitude will help see our businesses through,” he said.

Mr Hayes also urged more companies to join the TTF which, he said, was working to ease the burden on its members. As examples he cited collaboration with the Construction Products Association and the CBI to petition the government on the issue of insurers’ reluctance to provide credit insurance, and its involvement in the Get Britain Building campaign which was launched at Westminster on Tuesday.

“The TTF will be focused, realistic, value for money and a positive force for our timber industry through these tough times,” said Mr Hayes.