Meyer International, the UK's largest timber trader, has announced that it will only purchase timber that have been certified under the international Forest Stewardship Scheme for sustainably managed forestry. The decision was hailed today by environmental group the WorldWide Fund for Nature (WWF) as "one of the most significant things to happen in the timber trade for decades." The UK is the second largest net importer of timber in the world and Meyer is "central" to this industry, WWF UK forestry campaigner Steve Howard said. He predicted that the announcement would have knock-on effects worldwide - Meyer is said to source timber from 40 countries. The company's commitment to the scheme represented a significant challenge for the FSC as well as an opportunity, Mr Howard said. "It's a sign of the FSC coming of age." Meyer, which owns the Jewsons and Harcross chains, has pledged to ensure that 80% of its timber is FSC certified within five years. According to Amanda Burton of Meyer, the firm has "alway s kept a close eye on the development of certification and now, as the FSC is entering the mainstream we can see that it presents an exciting commercial opportunity."
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