Traceability is perhaps the single most important issue within retail today, explains Kingfisher. As forest resources are depleted, timber supply resilience becomes a pressing issue. Knowing where the timber comes from is the first precondition for securing this.
FSC General Assembly 2011 - perspective
As forest resources are depleted, timber supply resilience becomes a pressing issue. Knowing where the timber comes from is the first precondition for securing this.
Jamie Lawrence, Corporate Responsibiity Manager at Kingfisher, says, “Traceability is perhaps the single most important issue within retail today. This is because retailers need to identify where their timber products are coming from, to secure their future supplies."
"Security of resource supply is very high on the agenda. Do we have a secure supply chain? Can we get enough timber? If the deforestation rate continues at the current level, then there will simply not be enough timber resouces globally to meet the needs of the growing world population and the emergence of large affluent consumer segments in many countries. I see a supply deficit as a real threat. It is coming down the track in 5-10 year’s time from now.”
“We have seen this happen with several tropical timber species already. Twenty years ago, timber species such as Teak and Sapeli were common in the home improvement retail business. Now they have almost disppeared. Why? Because the prices have gone up. Why? Because the supplies have gone down. Why? Because the forest areas with Teak and Sapeli have diminished.”
“This is the pattern we are going to see for the timber business as a whole, due to the diminishing supplies and the growing number of affluent consumers in the world. Adding to the deforestation, some products such as conglomerates and chipboards compete with the growing biomass industry for resources."
"So prices look set to increase for many timber products, not just tropical hardwoods, unless the supply situation improves. We can expect to see buyers move increasingly away from timber to alternative materials such as metal and plastic," explains Mr Lawrence.
"If you recognise that as a challenge, then you need to think about where your material is coming from. Tracebility is absolutely fundamental to the financial basis of the retail businesses, and that goes for all kinds of natural resources – timber is just one of them. Most companies are stating that they expect to grow, and this is an important message to investors. But how can you expect to grow, if you are not sure about your future supply situation?”