Providing product information and education to Merchants is the key for building a prosperous Timber Market
1st June 2018

Providing product information and education to Merchants is the key for building a prosperous Timber Market

This blog post is by TTF Managing Director David Hopkins. It originally appeared on the BMJ Supplement for May 2018 ‘Trusted Timber’


Over our 125-year history, the Timber Trade Federation has developed its role as the guardian of timber product standards.

There have been many difficult journeys made within that time, but the end destination has never been in doubt: to provide our industry’s customers with Timber you can Trust. In the wired world of the 21st century, regularly communicating timber’s benefits, innovations, sustainability and carbon credentials is part of our daily stock-in-trade.

Our members’ product portfolio reflects the times, and the changing nature of wood use in society. A century and more ago there would have been a vast array of wooden handles for everything from medical to agricultural implements, and solid wood was the only option for mouldings.

Today’s rise is timber frame construction, engineered timber products such as glulam, and the extension of the mouldings market into MDF for the RMI sector, gives our merchant customers more choice, and more business opportunities. Timber Trade Federation members today have a Code of Conduct which covers both products and actions.

The TTF’s Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP) due diligence system, to which all members must adhere, is recognised by authorities as playing a significant part in promoting legally-harvested and sustainably-grown timbers entering the UK construction and joinery supply chains. The most recent revision to our Code of Conduct and RPP was earlier this year, brought about by our research into global plywood supply chains. It will further reduce risk and promote business for our members and their merchant customers.

The Federation never rests on its laurels. Our next supply chain campaigns, helping our customers to continue selling trusted timber, will concentrate on communicating the right timber treatments for the right uses; straightening the pitch on roofing battens across the merchant customer base; and ensuring the right standards and performance for timber flooring.

Expect further information on all of these topics throughout our 125th year. Providing sound knowledge and good customer service is how every builders’ merchant defines the character of their business.

The same is true for the timber trading members of the TTF. We would encourage all builders’ merchants to wholeheartedly engage with their TTF member timber product suppliers, and to benefit from the wealth of expertise and knowledge they offer. We also welcome our closer partnership with the Builders Merchants Federation through their twice yearly Timber Forum.

We equally encourage BMF merchants to avail themselves of the information that these meetings provide. Our recent ‘Trusted Timber’ Supplement – distributed via the Builders Merchants Journal (BMJ) to thousands of merchants across the UK – goes precisely in that direction giving you a flavour of our members’ depth of timber-relevant, business-relevant knowledge.

The Timber Trade Federation and its members are here to provide merchants with information, education, and, 125 years on from our foundation, continuing to provide Timber you can Trust.