The Forest Trust (TFT) has announced that a Chinese factory has, for the first time, produced plywood whose origins have been verified as 100% legal – the result of TFT’s partnership with the UK’s Premier Forest Products Ltd, along with the willing cooperation of a Chinese plywood maker, a group of Chinese poplar farmers, and a Malaysian timber producer.

TFT says the group is working to build a traceability system as EU and US legislators are promising tough action to stop illegal wood imports.

The sheets of poplar and hardwood veneer that were due to roll off the factory floor at Jiangsu Sainty Bancom Co Ltd in Hongze County and be shipped to the UK in June have been legally verified for the first time by the Rainforest Alliance Smartwood programme as being free of illegitimate timber.

Sainty Bancom on June 11 received a certificate of verification from the Rainforest Alliance in recognition of its compliance with the guidelines provided by TFT.

TFT’s executive director Scott Poynton said: “The plywood produced here shows we can ensure the legality of even composite wood products like plywood-even when made with materials purchased from different countries and multiple sources.”