The Right Firewood

The Right Firewood

The Right FirewoodYou will all be aware of the Woodsure Ready to Burn scheme that was launched back in 2017. Here, the Woodsure team provide us with an update on the scheme and its role in the recently published Clean Air Strategy 2019.

The recently announced Clean Air Strategy 2019 and while we still await the outcome of the August 2018 consultation on cleaner fuels, the strategy confirms that Government “will legislate to prohibit the sale of the most polluting fuels.”. Woodsure’s Ready to Burn scheme was identified as one of industry’s voluntary initiatives to tackle air pollution.

Ready to Burn

The Woodsure Ready to Burn initiative is for wood fuel producers (both firewood and briquettes), who are able to demonstrate through audit and fuel testing that wood fuel they sell as ‘Ready to Burn’ is:

  • Labelled as ‘Ready to Burn’
  • Is less than 20% moisture content
  • There is point of sale information, labelling and support
  • Where appropriate provides retailers with information on how to effectively store and keep the firewood in good condition

The Ready to Burn scheme is open to suppliers of all sizes and allows for both seasoned and force dried suppliers.

To join the scheme suppliers must undertake both an on-site audit and laboratory analysis of a representative sample of their product. In addition, the supplier must also demonstrate the legality of their product. Last year Woodsure produced some useful guidance for suppliers on how to demonstrate legality of firewood suppliers. Click here to find out more.

Once certificated Woodsure buy a number of samples of your product throughout the year. The more firewood you sell, the more checks are carried out. The mystery shopping ensures that once the fuel is produced, the quality is not reduced through poor storage or mishandling during the supply chain. This helps ensure consumers can choose the right firewood.

National Retailers

Back in October 2018 Woodsure worked in partnership with Defra during Green Great Britain Week to get major retailers to pledge to encourage customers to buy cleaner fuels. The following were some of the commitments made during the week.

Retailers are carrying out a wide range of actions to help consumers switch to cleaner, alternative fuels and the right firewood:

  • Lidl have committed to only sell wood that adheres to Woodsure conditions, meaning consumers have a guarantee that the fuel meets specified standards, including having the right moisture content and being sourced from sustainably managed woodland.
  • B&Q has trained store colleagues on the benefits of cleaner fuels and more efficient stoves and heaters to help educate their customers.
  • Asda has removed non-kiln dried wood logs and house coal from all of its London stores, guiding customers towards making better choices.
  • Tesco has produced in-store advertising promoting the benefits of “Ready to Burn” solid fuels and where to find them in store.
  • Booker, which provides stock for newsagents and convenience stores across the country, has confirmed it will be including “Ready to Burn” products as part of their autumn/winter range.

Woodsure continues to work with both suppliers and retailers to ensure that products that hold the Woodsure Ready to Burn mark will be properly stored and made available to customers at the correct moisture content.

Continued Growth

The Woodsure scheme continues to grow and the website saw record visitors during January 2019 following the announcement of the Government’s Clean Air Strategy. See our recent announcement on the strategy here.

Whilst the scheme remains focused on woodfuel quality, Woodsure has for some time encouraged Government to consider fuel quality alongside sustainability and legality.  With the current focus on air quality and part of the cause associated with wood burning both Defra and BEIS see the benefits of burning the right fuel to help reduce the impact on emissions from wood burning appliances.  The Woodsure wood fuel scheme and ENplus scheme for pellets are already recognised by Biomass Suppliers List, but BEIS and the BSL advisory panel are considering the benefits of further promoting fuel quality within BSL to ensure woodfuel sold to RHI boiler installations meet the expected fuel quality designed for the boiler. More should be known in the next few months.

Further Reading


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