Grange Fencing has invested more than £100,000 in setting up a subsidiary company in Latvia to secure FSC certification for its raw material suppliers.

The Telford-based company’s Forest 2000 operation is designed to act as an umbrella organisation providing consultation, help with documentation and, once everything is operating to FSC standards, provide forest owners with a group FSC certificate. The move is designed to give it access to certified Latvian timber.

Maxine Lewis, marketing executive for Grange Fencing, said: ‘Latvia is a poor country so the forest owners can’t really afford to do it on their own. We incur most of the cost and they pay a small fee. But we get a good deal on the timber, which is cheaper than the Polish and UK timber we use.’

Initially the certificate will cover 10 forest owners, 2,400ha of forest and four sawmills. More members are expected by the summer when Forest 2000 hopes to win a group manager chain of custody certificate.