Based in Berwickshire, Scotland, the company supplies a range of products including kiln dried hardwood logs in a variety of sizes from bulk bags to 2m3 pallets, as well as wood briquettes, pellets and kindling products. Managing Director of The Real Firewood Company, Niall Whyte, recently contacted Fires & Fireplaces to share his views on how the firewood market has changed and the growing awareness among consumers of the importance of good fuel. Niall wrote: “The transformation of the UK firewood market over the last seven years is truly remarkable. Before 2007 kiln dried firewood was virtually unknown within the UK. Prior to this most stove owners would order firewood from a local firewood
merchant or woodcutter, and this would typically be delivered from the back of a pick up and dumped on the customer’s drive. More often than not it would consist of various species, good and bad, and be at best partially seasoned, nothing wrong with that if the customer was prepared to further season them, though this was rarely the case and most was burnt semi seasoned.”

“The UK was first introduced to kiln dried firewood around 2007 by Certainly The changing firewood market Wood, and a year or so later the first of the importers started selling Baltic sourced firewood. As customers and stove installers started realising the benefits of burning dry firewood over wet firewood a whole new market emerged whereby the customer could place an order online and have a crate of neatly stacked dry firewood delivered to them the following day.”

“The change within the firewood market can be linked directly with the huge rise in numbers of wood burning stoves being installed, a figure of 200,000 per annum being quoted within the industry, a figure which would still appear to be growing. Based on that figure and making an assumption that the average stove will burn approximately 3m/3 per annum, this equates to a staggering annual growth of 600,000m/3.”

As one of the early importers of kiln dried firewood from the Baltics, Niall noted that The Real Firewood Company Ltd learned the hard way about the perils of firewood imports. He added: “Many traditional firewood merchants think all they have to do is answer one of the many offers emailed to them from the Baltics, pay their money and wait for their container of quality firewood to arrive. Unfortunately this is rarely the case and many are scammed one way or another. More often than not the picture showing the lovely neat crates of kiln dried firewood is not what arrives. We’ve have had containers not turn up despite having paid for them, containers full of mouldy logs, containers full of very small logs and taken delivery of containers of low grade aspen and alder when expecting ash.” Based on its own experience The Real Firewood Company now operates as an importer and guarantees its products to its customers. Niall now only imports from a family run business in Latvia and he and his team works very closely with them. Niall said: “We visit each other’s businesses on a regular basis and are always looking to make improvements to both the product and the delivery. This focus on quality is vital as the consumer is now more aware than ever of what they are looking for with questions such as “What species is it?” and “What moisture content is it?” regularly being asked of us. The firewood market has matured in the UK and is far from the beast it was 10 years ago. Here at the Real Firewood Company we firmly believe that we cannot be beaten on quality.” For more information on the company’s range of products visit www.realfirewood. Alternatively Niall can be contacted on 01361 883911 or by email to [email protected]