Hoppings Softwood Products plc has embarked on a campaign to build awareness about Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification among trade and retail timber merchants.

With the strap line “Feeling Slightly Confused about how FSC certification will affect you?”, the campaign, which represents an investment of around £4,600, is being rolled out throughout south-east.

Marketing director Adam Pulfer said every timber merchant in the country would eventually feel the impact of forest certification.

“Government contracts and local authorities will require FSC-certified products and individual consumers will request them.”

But, he added, many merchants say they will not do anything about certification “until it hits them in the face”.

It is then, he hoped, that the Hoppings-branded mugs, coasters and information packs which give the FSC facts will come into play and the merchants will know who to call.

Vanessa Linforth of the Soil Association’s Woodmark FSC certification programme said one of the biggest problems was spending time on FSC education and added: “We are delighted when a company such as Hoppings undertakes an awareness programme. Their material is great – eye-catching and easy to understand.”

She said FSC would affect everyone involved in the timber trade – and that whether for good or bad was up to them.

She added: “Hoppings has seen the positive opportunities that FSC presents and is amongst the first timber suppliers to gain certification.”