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Technical Updates

Friday, 15 February 2002
FSC Headquarters Announces Group COC Certification Policy

This month FSC headquarters announced a new policy to facilitate chain-of-custody certification for groups of small wood harvesting, processing, and retail operators. The new policy retains the rigor of individual-facility COC assessment, but provides for the sharing of many of the administrative aspects of certification, such as reporting and liaison with the certification body, by an organized group of small enterprises.

Under the group program, the wood handling systems of each group member must meet all of the requirements set forth in existing FSC policy. Administrative responsibilities are assigned to a single coordinator for the entire group. The policy will be implemented on a one-year trial basis, followed by a review to analyze the eligibility criteria for participating in the scheme, the impact on the availability of FSC labeled products and the implementation of the assessment and monitoring requirements. The policy can be found at in the documents list.

"This new policy will open the door to many small businesses interested in encouraging responsible forest management practices by handling and processing FSC-certified wood and non-wood products. This new policy benefits the many haulers, carpenters, joiners, and artisans who are eager to participate in the FSC system. It also benefits landowners and upstream manufacturers by stimulating increased demand for FSC-certified forest products," explains FSC A.C. Executive Director, Heiko Liedeker.