It was great to read John Bagshaw’s piece on the perceived value of hardwood. It concurs with my own view that we should be looking for a benefit from all the work done recently to promote wood, by going for quality and service, yet we continue to see wood as a commodity.

This is a shame when you deal with the people who actually fix our materials. Quality and service far outweigh price and as an industry we have to get our minds around this; probably even more so as the spending boom begins to slow and we start to beat each other up to maintain turnover.

As my experiences are merchant related, dealing with the end user and not selling into the timber trade, I found the recent scrap between parts of the trade over poor levels of preservative treatment rather depressing. It will come to haunt us all, when our customers think that wood rots very quickly. This is history repeating itself as we have seen with timber windows and joists.

Surely, after all the work by wood. for good and other campaigns, we can’t risk our reputation for a few pennies.

Some of you will probably now think I’m contradicting myself by supporting Brazilian pine plywood, but I feel that it can be a much maligned product. Sure there are some poor mills, but there are plenty of good ones and at long last they seem to be doing something about it by ABIMCI taking issue with the ‘protectionist’ attitude of existing standards. I hope that they get their argument through so that we can receive regulated product.

Interestingly, most of this action has come from the promotional work of those producers trying to protect their product.