Between the forest and the final user, products may undergo many stages of processing, manufacturing and distribution.
FSC Chain-of-Custody certification traces the path of products from forests through the supply chain, verifying that FSC-certified material is identified or kept separated from non-certified material throughout the chain.
Any company in this supply chain, including harvesters, processors, manufacturers, distributors, printers, retailers* or anyone that is taking ownership of the forest product before the end user, needs to be FSC certified to be able to label or promote their products as FSC certified.
The Chain-of-Custody process ensures the consumer that the FSC-certified products they purchase are coming from responsibly managed sources. For a consumer to purchase an FSC-certified product, every company that previously had ownership of the forest product material components of the end product would have had to be FSC certified.
FSC provides a number of different ways to find FSC certified companies and products, please visit our Find FSC Products page or use the FSC Certificate Database to verify FSC claims, search for FSC certified companies and search suppliers by region.
If you are interested in becoming FSC Chain-of-Custody Certified, please visit the become certified page.
For any questions regarding Chain of Custody, please contact info at us.fsc point org.
*NOTE: Retailers must be FSC certified to transfer the FSC claim on products that are sold to building contractors or to consumers who will be reporting their purchase of FSC-certified material, such as for the US Green Building Councils' LEED program.
However, not all retailers have to be FSC certified. Retailers that sell finished and labeled products to the general public do not have to be FSC certified; instead they can apply to have FSC logo access to promote the availability of FSC-certified products. For more information on this, please visit our Logo Use Page.