Certification a global phenomenom

By Craig Norris, NCT Forestry

Across the globe, the demand for certified products has increased dramatically over the past decade with the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) logo becoming a globally recognised and respected brand.

In South Africa, 80% of the commercial timber plantations are certified. Komatiland Forests was the first plantation to gain FSC certification in South Africa, with most large and medium corporate growers following suit. NCT Forestry Cooperative was the first to achieve group FSC certification. Group FSC chain of custody and forest management schemes have been developed to help smaller enterprises achieve FSC certification by reducing the costs of certification per member.

Even still there is concern that small-scale timber growers and family run forestry participants (small-scale farmers) are being left behind with respect to certification. As a result, a national certification agency, the South African Forestry Assurance Scheme (SAFAS) has been established with the aim of developing a system that can be endorsed by the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

It is hoped, with both systems in place, certification will be opened up to all South African forestry owners and managers. This will help all industry players to meet the future demands for certified timber, as well as realise the social, environmental, cultural and economic benefits that certification brings.

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Case study compiled 2017
Source: Forestry Explained