FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

SGS halts all new FSC forest management certification activitiesTags: Worldwide, Certifier conflict of interest, Accreditation controls, SGS Qualifor

In a shock announcement, South Africa-based SGS Qualifor - FSC's second largest certifier - has said that it has taken a 'business decision' not to issue any further FSC forest management certificates, pending a 'review' of it's forest management certification processes. The announcement, made on the FSC's website, is believed to pre-empt an imminent decision by the FSC Secretariat to formally suspend SGS's accreditation worldwide. SGS has recently been forced to withdraw several non-compliant certificates, including in Guyana and Spain, following damning assessments by FSC's Accreditation Services International; in April this year, the certifier was also banned from all certification activities in Poland.

FSC-Watch believes this is good news for the FSC, as it reduces by one the number of major certifiers that are wrecking FSC's credibility by issuing certificates to non-compliant companies. We urge the FSC to confirm SGS's decision by formally and indefinitely suspending the certifier's accreditation, along with all its certificates, including those for Chain of Custody, which are not included in SGS's self-imposed 'moratorium'. Similar moves should be started against the other major certifiers which have brought discredit to the FSC system. FSC can then get on unimpeded with the all-important job of changing the way that contracts are issued for certification assessments, in order to give the FSC greater control, and breaking the direct economic link between the certification bodies and the 'client' timber companies seeking certification.

Comments

The "self suspension" of SGS Qualifor ZA is a step in the right direction. Hopefully the FSC will suspend this CB's accreditation ASAP to limit the harm this CB has brought to the reputation and credibility of forest stewardship certification over the past five years. Several Southern Africa FM certificates, which were subjects of complaints directed to SGS Qualifor and the FSC by myself from 2004 to 2006, are highly reproachable. At the time, the complaint procedures of both FSC and SGS Qualifor were stuctured so that you can consider yourself fortunate to have it addressed meaningfully, let alone resolved, within two years. A good clean-up is required internally at the FSC and SGS Qualifor.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME. YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT THE CERTIFIER BY THE NAME OF SCS THEY GIVE CERTIFICATIONS OUT LIKE WATER I HAVE REAPEATEDLY COMPLAINED ABOUT THIS ALL THE WAY TO AFRICA AND THEY ARE STILL CERTIFYING COMPANIES THAT NO MORE MEET THE FSC.ORG REQUIREMNTS TO BE FSC CERIFIED THAN A FLEA IN THE AIR. WHERE IS THE FSC POLICE FOR THAT CERTIFIER. PLEASE LET ME KNOW A.S.A.P. WHEN SCS CERTIFIER WILL BE INVESTIGATED. SOME OF THE COMPANIES THEY HAVE CERTIFIED ARE ACGIWOOD.COM 9WOOD.COM CHECK IT OUR FOR YOURSELF. IF FSC.ORG THINKS THESE COMPANIES ARE DOING ALL THE TRACKING AND PAPERWORK REQUIRED THEN YOU ARE WRONG, NOT TO MENTION THEY SEND THEIR WORK OUT TO SUBCONTRACTORS WHO ARE NOT FSC CERTIFIED. IT REALLY IS A MOCKERY OF WHAT FSC.ORG IS TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH WORLDWIDE.

SINCERELY

ELEANOR ROBISON
CORPORATE SECRETARY

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