Stone Federation are a member of EuroRoc, an organisation made up of the various European Federations for the dimensional stone industry. The aim of the group is to coordinate questions of common interest and find solutions while promoting the use of dimensional natural stone.
The Federation's EuroRoc representative, Michael Poultney of Albion Stone along with Peter Harrison of Harrison Goldman, attended the latest meeting held at the Verona Stone Show in October.
There were a range of topics discussed, but shown are four discussions points that will be of particular interest to members.
1. Ethical Sourcing - There are various different degrees of controls of ethical sourcing across Europe and some is at a very local level. It was accepted that the EU should be encouraging stones from ethical sources but there was some scepticism that a system with a high degree of certainty could be found in the short term. It was agreed that the starting point should be to pool all the experiences from the differing methods currently being used by different, Countries, companies and organisations.
2. Geographical Protection - There was considerable support from across the EU and the robust comments from the UK were considered positive. It is back with the European Parliament on what could be a long journey to possible implementation.
3. Reporting Figures - There was concerns that the code numbers used for reporting production, imports and exports are not recording the dimensional stone figure accurately. It was suggested that these should be related to the harmonised Product Standards (BS EN). Michael Poultney has been in dialogue with BGS and Eric Bignell at the Natural Stone Specialist magazine about the topic earlier in the month. Euroroc will progress the matter with the relevant authorities.
4. Silica Dust - There was a mixed response about the danger of the implementation of the dust regulations and the prospects of reducing the code. It was agreed that the experiences from the implementation from national authorities will be requested.