Staff from a Shropshire builders’ merchants have been learning more about the products they sell – with an overseas trip to their very source.
Nine employees from Tudor Griffiths Group, which is based in Ellesmere, travelled to Sweden to visit a hi-tech sawmill that processes the wood for the Europe, Middle East and North Africa markets. The trip to the Arbor Forest Products site in Braviken was set up to give timber traders a real insight into how the products they sell are produced.
Kevin Gardner, Builders’ Merchants General Manager for Tudor Griffiths Group, said: “The trip has given us all a great opportunity to learn more about the timber supply chain and the processes involved. We were particularly impressed with the commitment shown by the forestry team to both quality and sustainability, and their clear focus on environmental issues, including preserving forests for future generations.”
The Tudor Griffiths team visited the forests where Whitewood and Redwood trees are planted, grown and harvested, as well as the sawmill itself to see the timber being prepared for distribution. They also learned more about the regulations that govern the management of forests producing wood to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) standards.
“We were shown the grading and machining processes that take place before the products are shipped overseas, and toured the Holmen paper mill which creates products for the book, newsprint and high-end magazine markets,” said Kevin.
“It was very interesting to see the synergy between the sawmill and paper mill that ensures every part of every tree is used productively, including the waste material that’s produced during the preparation of the products.”
Tudor Griffiths Group employs more than 250 people working across the English/Welsh border in Shropshire, Cheshire, Worcestershire and mid and north Wales. As well as seven builders’ merchants branches, they also operate 12 ready mixed concrete plants, two sand and gravel quarries, a sea-dredged sand operation, recycling services and skip hire.