Sharp practices must be eradicated from the timber trade to improve its image, chairman of Yorkshire and Humberside Timber Trade Association Bill Urmston said last week.

Speaking at the association’s annual dinner in Hull, Mr Urmston said mis-marking and misrepresentation of products including altering plywood descriptions and using unseasoned whitewood for decking had to stop.

He said: ‘These type of practices only succeed in giving the whole trade a poor image. It is little wonder then that we have lost market shares to other products which the specifiers and end users consider more reliable.’

Mr Urmston urged every member to uphold the Timber Trade Federation‘s soon to be launched Code of Conduct and Code of Practice.

‘It is now up to the members to ensure its implementation, which can only benefit and improve the image of our trade.’

He also recognised the important role played by Humber Ports in trade, with approximately 3 million m3 of softwood imported through the Humber Estuary last year and about 1.3 million m3 through the Port of Hull.

The association is continuing its co-operation with the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside and the University of Sheffield’s architects department.