Ess-Enn Timber is the first company to achieve Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification through a new chain of custody service run by the Timber Trade Federation (TTF).

A further four companies are currently taking advantage of the service, started this autumn as a cost-effective and hassle-free tool for TTF members.

Jean Rennie, TTF membership secretary, said: “A lot of our members do have chain of custody certification, but I think a number do not. They do not have to turn to the Yellow Pages – it’s now a service we offer.”

She said members’ customers are increasingly seeking evidence of environmentally sound business practices and that by gaining chain of custody members can stay ahead of the competition.

SCA Timber Supply, winner of the environmental achievement prize in this year’s TTJ Awards, is working with the TTF to take members through the process, called “10 Easy Steps to Chain of Custody”.

Bob Bastow, SCA‘s business development and environmental manager, said: “It’s no good just having the timber in the forests certified, it needs to get through to the end-user. In order to do that suppliers need to be certified.”

“It’s basically an extension of what we are already doing with SCA customers.”

The service covers all aspects of the process from initial assessment through to writing and helping implement required procedures, assessing the supplier base, training staff, a pre-asessment audit, liaising with the certification body and being present during the chain of custody audit.

Members who have signed up or are interested in the service, which costs £1,999 and is on a no win no fee basis, include merchants, importers, joinery manufacturers and panels suppliers.