A week missed and a day late! Not very good, is it? I’d like to give a bunch of excuses about being busy and that sort of thing, but unfortunately they wouldn’t be true. I just haven’t been able to concentrate, but that has now been righted by a trip to the Oncologist to sort out the lump on my temple that has been growing for the last few weeks. So this week coming, apart from a blood test and a couple of scans, I should be able to get back on with things.
Some important legislation comes into force this week, namely The EU Timber Regulations aimed at reducing the trade in illegally logged timber, estimated by Interpol as 30% of the World’s timber trade. European suppliers of timber and wood products are now required to keep records of the sources of their timber.
Although this doesn’t directly affect us, as we don’t use imported timber very often, it will probably mean that the price of keeping track of where each plank comes from will be passed on to the consumer. From ukulele builders who get their timber from conventional sources, that will mean their customers, possibly you! Fortunately, if you are one of our lucky customers, it won’t affect you because all of our instruments are built from the timber grown on the Quex Estate.
Meanwhile, some 178 countries are this week convening to discuss the CITES agreement. CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and covers a number of timbers traditionally used in instrument building, as well as a number of the shell products used in their decoration. Again, none of the species we use come under those regulations, but something that is also being discussed, and has a lot of support, is the introduction of ‘Instrument Passports’. This is to ensure that various authorities such as the UK’s Revenue and Customs departments cannot get carried away in confiscating instruments belonging to travelling musicians that are made with materials covered by CITES.
The details of the requirements are not yet set in stone, but all of our future instruments will be provided with these ‘passports’ so that our customers will be able to travel quite happily with them.
In the meantime, here’s a short clip of a happy customer testing his new instrument.