Dolphin Bay has introduced a Quality Pledge, providing a platform on which timber treatment companies can show their commitment to excellence.
This move follows months of deliberation about how we can best help to ensure the strong reputation of our industry, and ensure its long-term sustainability in Africa.
“The pledge is a helping hand to the many treaters who are committed to raising the bar in Africa, as it distils all our knowledge about how to ensure a top-quality product,” says Bertus. “Very importantly, we also want those many treaters who are committed to quality, to be noticed.
“Buyers are often tempted to choose a supplier based on price alone, and compromise on quality in the process. At the same time, there is so much ‘noise’ about the problem of poor quality poles, that it is difficult for those who are doing their jobs properly, to stand out.
“Now those who produce quality poles for a good price, can show the industry that it is possible.”
The introduction of the Pledge follows growing concern within the industry about quality, as a proportion of poles are failing to meet expectations. This problem has been growing along with the growing demand for treated timber, and now poses a significant threat to the future of the treated timber industry in Africa.
In previous editions of the Dolphin Bay Brief, we have outlined the various factors contributing to the problem of early pole failures, and how to address these (Substandard poles threaten our futre).
The Quality Pledge is one that company leaders can sign, committing their company to implement six main principles that ensure sustainability. These steps are as follows:1. Compliance with the law in the countries where your company operates, and the relevant international agreements;2. Compliance with quality standards in these countries, or with the relevant international standards, as appropriate;3. Ensuring that treatment operations safeguard the environment;4. Ensuring that your company follows the recognised timber treatment process, and that staff are adequately trained;5. Implementing a recognised record-keeping system;6. Harvesting timber from sustainable forests, where possible.Commitments one and six are high-level commitments with which Dolphin Bay cannot assist. We will partner with treatment operators in their commitment to the other principles, which will doubtless fit in with, and reinforce, their existing programmes.Our role will be to help you ensure that your operations reach their full potential, producing high-quality treated timber at maximum capacity, while also safeguarding the environment.To start the process, we will conduct a study of your operations, covering the four principles. We will then provide a document outlining the steps that can be taken; discuss your priorities with you; adapt the document as required, and help you implement any necessary changes.When companies have fulfilled all the steps, Dolphin Bay will provide them with a document stating that they are a recognised plant.“Thank you to each one of our customers for the commitment to quality that you are already providing, which has given us the encouragement to draw up this pledge,” says Bertus. “We are extremely excited about it and look forward to discussing it in depth with you.“Ultimately, we are inviting you all to embark upon a journey with us, to ensure that our industry thrives.”