Certified tropical hardwood products on the UK market can carry a price premium of up to 30% depending on species, a joint timber industry and government report has revealed.

The report, one of a series commissioned by the Timber Trade Federation and the Department for International Development, also says there are no premiums to be paid for certified softwood, compared to uncertified timber, due to wide availability and developed distribution networks.

In contrast, report consultant Forest Industries Intelligence found poorly developed distribution channels, restricted availability and widely demanded price premiums for certified hardwoods.

Some certified Brazilian hardwoods can carry a premium of up to 30%, while certified US hardwood products can be 8-15% more expensive. Dark red meranti certified under the Malaysian Timber Certification Council scheme has a premium of 2%-5%.

The lack of mutual recognition between the Forest Stewardship Council and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes also remains a logistical difficulty for many companies.

Annie Johnson, B&Q‘s social responsibility manager, said: “The factors that make up the price of a product – raw materials, manufacture, finishing, transport and distribution – means that the extra cost of FSC timber certification is minimal and not reflected in the retail price.”

Information in the report is based on interviews with about 15 UK timber traders and two leading joinery manufacturers.