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Technical Updates

Tuesday, 01 June 2004
Percentage Based Claims Policy Update

The FSC-US held two meetings to educate stakeholders on proposed changes to the FSC percentage-based claims policy and to allow stakeholders the opportunity to give feedback on the proposed standard directly to FSC International.

Over 30 stakeholders participated in the San Francisco meeting on May 24th. The meeting had excellent representation from the assembled products market, forest management units and environmental organizations. The Washington DC meeting on May 26th had 25 stakeholders, with a very strong presence of paper companies and environmental organizations as well as solid wood producers and brokers.

Perhaps the greatest value of the consultations was having Sofia Ryder and Michael Spencer, from FSC-IC, take a very complicated standard and break it down into its component parts and explain the rationale and changes presently under review.

The review covered FSC-STD-40-004, FSC Chain-of-Custody Standard for Companies Supplying and Manufacturing FSC Certified Products and FSC-STD-40-005, FSC Standard for Company Requirements for Controlling non-FSC certified wood. Michael Spencer, Head of Communications and Marketing for FSC-IC, also gave a presentation about how on product labels would reflect the new changes to the FSC percentage based claims policy.

Stakeholders were able to learn about and provide feedback on the full range of issues covered by the standard, including: the volume-credit system, treatment of recycled fiber, and the labels. It was clear, however, from both sessions that the key to making the new percentage based claims policy work is the implementation of the controlled sources policy. Just as encouraging as the stakeholder response to these issues, was the fact that FSC International was able to receive a great deal of positive feedback which they can take back to Bonn and incorporate into the next draft. The key to creating a policy that satisfies all stakeholders will be FSC-IC’s ability to incorporate the four elements of a workable policy.

While FSC-IC will be accepting comments on the standards throughout the month of June, the standards are moving toward completion quickly. On June 4th the staff at IC will submit another draft to the FSC Board of Directors, simply to make sure the Board is comfortable with the direction. A final draft will be submitted to the Board at the end of June. If you have any further questions about the policy or process, please contact Ned Daly at or            202.342.0415      .