FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

The scandal of Asia Plywood Company in Sarawak, Wickes, B&Q, SCS and FSCTags: Malaysia, Chain of Custody, Mixed sources labelling, Misleading claims, SCS

B&Q and Wickes, two of Britain's biggest DIY stores, have been caught selling plywood falsely labelled as FSC certified.

The company selling the plywood, Asia Plywood Company, is the largest exporter of Meranti wood and plywood in Malaysia. The website Sarawak Report explains that Asia Plywood Company got its FSC certificate not for the timber it logs in Sarawak, but "by pledging that at least 70% of the content of its finished plywood was now being sourced from New Zealand plantation pine."

In fact, the plywood on sale in the UK was "almost completely made up of tropical hardwood, such as meranti wood," Sarawak Report notes...[Continue]

SIFORCO in DR Congo: nice certificates, shame about the arrests, beatings, burning and rapesTags: Democratic Republic of Congo, Controlled wood, Mixed sources labelling, SGS Qualifor, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

Certification in any of the countries in the Congo Basin was always going to stretch the credibility of the FSC system to the limit - as the miserable experiences in Cameroon of companies such as SEFAC and Wijma have shown (the former of which remains 'suspended' for forest management but, illogically, still certified for Chain of Custody). Sadly, because the FSC is unable to control its certifiers, these lessons seem not to have been learned; allowing its certifiers to issue certificates in DR Congo was always bound to end in disaster...[Continue]

Scandales dans la famille Forest Stewardship CouncilTags: Worldwide, Certifier conflict of interest, Plantations, Mixed sources labelling, All certifiers

(This posting is reproduced from a article in the Courrier de la Planète.)

Ce texte est extrait d'une interview donnée par Simon Counsell au site Mongabay.com le 17 avril 2008. Cette interview faisait suite à celle de Nina Haase, responsable de la communication du Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), publiée sur le même site dix jours plus tôt et réalisée en réponse aux nombreuses critiques formulées à l'encontre du système de certification FSC...[Continue]

FSC and the Lacey Act: the $500,000 questionTags: Worldwide, Controlled wood, Mixed sources labelling, Legality, All certifiers

In May 2008, the US government enacted a revision to the Lacey Act, a hundred year-old piece of legislation that renders it illegal to trade in goods in the US which are from illegal sources, which now makes the Act applicable to the timber trade. Whilst timber traders are no doubt hoping that use of FSC certified wood is going to keep them out of prison, they may be in for a nasty shock.

This year's revision to the Act came about through a long lobbying campaign by US environmental groups, who were also joined by the US wood industry and labour organisations in seeking to exclude illegally acquired wood from outside the US...[Continue]

Greenpeace exposes FSC's 'Controlled Wood' fiction: Finland logging 'Out of Control'Tags: Finland, Controlled wood, Mixed sources labelling, Greenpeace, Legality, Soil Association Woodmark, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

A new report from Greenpeace published this month confirms what this website has been warning for nearly two years: that the FSC's so-called Controlled Wood Policy is a shambles, and is allowing wood from highly unacceptable sources into the FSC certified chain of custody.

The report, called 'Out of Control' (available here - pdf file, 3Mb), follows detailed investigations into several logging operations in Finland over the last two years, during which all major paper companies have been audited against the FSC Controlled Wood standard...[Continue]

FSC wood debacle lands city authority in courtTags: USA, Brazil, Procurement policies, Mixed sources labelling, SCS, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

A US timber company is suing a New Jersey city authority over its cancellation of a controversial order of FSC certified lumber for repair of its ocean-front boardwalks. In the latest development in this long-running debacle, which has exposed gaping weaknesses in the FSC's Chain of Custody system, the Louis Grasmick Lumber company of Baltimore has said that it will sue the Ocean City authorities for $1.2 million

Local environmental campaigners have long opposed the use by Ocean City of Amazonian ipe wood for the city boardwalk renovation project...[Continue]

FSC dumps Asia Pulp and Paper - but who was to blame?Tags: Indonesia, Certifier conflict of interest, Mixed sources labelling, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood, SGS Qualifor

In December 2007, the FSC announced that it was "dissociating" itself from the giant Sinar Mas-owned Indonesian paper company Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) - see statement below. The news was mostly greeted by the environmental movement, though there is some suspicion that the FSC only took this unusual step because the possible certification of APP had been exposed in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. WWF in particular has issued stinging reports of the company's greewashing of its destruction of forests to feed its pulp mill in Riau province, Sumatra...[Continue]

Wall Street Journal exposes FSC policy chaosTags: Worldwide, Indonesia, Mixed sources labelling, Controlled wood, Certifier conflict of interest

The Wall Street Journal today ran the following story, the original of which is available here

FSC's 'Green' Label for Wood Products Gets Growing Pains

By TOM WRIGHT and JIM CARLTON

October 30, 2007

The environmental group that runs a widely recognized labeling system to identify "green" wood and paper products has acknowledged that some companies using its label are destroying pristine forests and says it plans to overhaul its rules...[Continue]

The joke that is FSC's 'Controlled Wood Standard': the laundry is open for businessTags: Worldwide, Mixed sources labelling, Controlled wood, Legality, All certifiers

One of the more controversial of FSC's policies has been the 'Mixed Sources' policy, which allows manufactured products such as plywood, paper and furniture to be labelled as 'FSC' even though the amount of wood fibre from FSC-certified sources is actually as little as 10% of the total wood material in the poroduct.

Quite apart from the fact that such 'Mixed Sources'-labelled products are likely to be seriously misleading to the consumer (following recent changes to FSC's rules, the product labels no longer even have to say how much of the product is actually from FSC-certfied sources), there is also the question of 'what about the remaining uncertified material'? Some FSC members have been warning for years that, in the absence of any meaningful controls, there is a real risk that Mixed Sources products would become a way of 'laundering' wood from unacceptable sources into FSC-labelled products...[Continue]

Selling South Africa's Forests down the Elands RiverTags: South Africa, Plantations, Mixed sources labelling, SGS Qualifor

The following article first appeared in ‘noseweek’, December, 2005

With the year-end silly season just around the bend, NoseArk have turned our collective thoughts towards trees. Christmas trees, as you might have guessed.

A long-lost hippy connection of ours, last seen farming dirt under his toenails in the Eastern Cape, once told us that the reason pine trees came to be associated with Christmas was because, in northern Europe, they shelter hallucinogenic mushrooms...[Continue]