Why do most Firewood Suppliers use Crates?
Unlike most suppliers, Surefire Wood supply our firewood in loose-filled bags. The reason being our wood is sourced locally from FSC® certified forests, then processed and kiln dried on our family farm, on one the largest firewood processing plants in Europe. Crates, on the other hand, are generally sourced from Eastern Europe from countries such as Latvia and Lithuania. In order to keep transport costs down, they are hand stacked using cheap labour and shipped overseas.
In order to compete with imported wood, Surefire Wood has worked very hard at improving our processing, drying and packing facilities. We have developed automated machinery, reducing our labour costs, while improving our drying facilities in order to dry more, also reducing drying times. This has enabled us to compete with cheap imported firewood. Of course, labour and timber are still cheaper in these countries but when you add on the large delivery cost of shipping a container from the far side of Europe to here, Surefire Wood is still more competitive not to mention more environmentally friendly.
Another benefit of using Surefire Wood, is we have total control over the quality of our firewood from start to finish. Many firewood suppliers importing crates are receiving more and more, higher moisture, kiln-dried wood. Basically the wood has been seasoned in the hot summer sun to a low moisture content, then sold as kiln-dried wood. This is dishonest as well as very dangerous. In other cases, especially during peak season, firewood producers in Eastern Europe are not correctly kiln drying their wood because of the high demand and selling it at a higher moisture content above 20%. In some cases it arrives on these islands blue with mould. Again, this attitude leads to a poor product, unsuitable for storing in your home while also helping with the spread of timber diseases.
Timber diseases have already been responsible for the loss of many of our native species including decimating our Ash and Larch trees. There are restrictions and protocols in place, however, they are almost impossible to implement at our Sea Ports and as we already know with the current Corona Virus outbreak, things only continue to get worse unless radical changes are made. In the case of custom checks, we do not have enough personnel or technology to deal completely with these issues.
Another benefit of our Firewood is it is sourced from FSC® woodlands. FSC® well-managed woodlands is an integral part of forestry management in the UK and Ireland and Surefire Wood has been part of this programme for nearly 10 years. Increased tree planting is also ensuing thanks to public pressure.
Another big difference in our firewood is it contains mixed species of native hardwoods primarily Oak, Ash and Beech. In contrast, much of the wood coming from Eastern Europe is Birch which although burns well, is far less dense and will, therefore, burn much faster. Birch is similar to our softwoods, which are plentiful and less expensive.