The “Cut it Out” report claims the UK is the world’s third largest importer of illegal timber and wood products. It estimates some 3.2 million m3 of illegal wood worth £712m enters Britain every year.

In a letter to The Times, TTF chief executive John White said the report did a “disservice” to the UK’s efforts to reduce the amount of illegal timber entering the supply chain.

“Assuming a rate of illegal timber production and assuming that percentage applies to all imports is statistical nonsense and has no place in a serious report,” he said. “Both industry and government have led the world in demanding legal and sustainable timber.”

The WWF study focuses on 17 exporting countries and assumes that 10% of each country’s timber exports are illegal and that 10% of the UK’s timber imports from those countries are illegal.

Mr White said an independent report commissioned by The Federation found that more than 50% of timber entering the UK was certified as legal and sustainable.

“Coupled with growing demand, NGO and industry monitoring schemes and a government timber procurement policy that is a model for other importing countries, there is real momentum in the fight against this iniquitous trade.”