Businesses from across Wales are heading to Denbighshire to learn more about innovation from one of Welsh industry’s experts in the field.
Top wood products company Clifford Jones Timber are holding a special event next Wednesday (November 2) to showcase their immaculate ecological credentials to industry bosses from across the country.
The Ruthin-based company are the UK’s biggest manufacturer of wooden fence posts, producing over two and a half million a year, and they use 100,000 tons of timber annually.
But their proud boast is that nothing leaves their Brickfield Lane premises without a bill as they use the wood, bark and all, to make not just fence posts but laminated timber for the construction and leisure industries, gates, dried logs and provide the residue to make over 25,000 tonnes of pellets and briquettes.
The event is part of the Welsh Government’s Inside Welsh Industry programme which encourages businesses to look at best practice across industry in Wales and to learn from the leaders in their fields.
Keith Corbett, Managing Director of Clifford Jones Timber, is hosting the event and he said: “It’s entitled ‘Waste not, want not’ and it’s about creating ideas about how businesses can make full use of the raw materials they process and about finding alternative uses for them and the waste they produce.
“We take great pride in the fact that nothing leaves here without an invoice except for the excess water that is taken out of the wood in the production process.
“We are constantly looking at ways of diversifying so that we get the maximum from the timber we bring in through the gates and also so that we are less subject to seasonal peaks and troughs of demand.
“It’s good to be green and sustainable for a number of reasons including helping save the planet but it also makes sound business sense for us.”
Clifford Jones Timber will be emphasising their sustainable credentials on the day by providing seating and tables made from tree trunks and off-cuts and with their products on display while heating will be provided by log burners using their new range of kiln-dried logs with breakfast and lunch cooked on wood-fired barbecues.
There will be a tour of the business and the production areas and talks from Keith Corbett, Dr Derek Palmer, inventor of Amoxicillin and low temperature additive in washing powder, and from Phil Wildbur, who bought Blazers Wood Fuels from Clifford Jones Timber last year, and whom they supply with almost 4000 tons of timber residue each month.
Bill Jones, of Inside Welsh Industry, which has arranged the event, said: “Clifford Jones Timber have almost made an art form out of combining sustainability with their bottom line. The phrase ‘nothing leaves site without an invoice’ is their mantra.
“The process required to do this well is highly strategic but also quite scientific and Clifford Jones Timber will demonstrate their infectious enthusiasm and their success and show how you can convert waste into revenue.”
Clifford Jones Timber, which employs 64 staff at Ruthin and a further 20 at their plant at Gretna in the Scottish borders, this year launched a new brand of long-lasting fence post with a guaranteed life of up to 35 years.
They send shipments of their fence posts as far afield as the Falkland Islands while other clients for their timber products have included Center Parcs, a luxury treehouse builder, award-winning vineyards and a deck-chair company.
Clwyd West MP David Jones, on a visit to the company, said: “It’s a fabulous operation. This is a business that’s grown to what can only be regarded as a state of the art manufacturing facility.
“It’s incredibly efficient. Almost nothing here goes to waste and it is operating in the most environmentally friendly manner possible.”