FSC Approves new Group Chain of Custody Eligibility Criteria for Canada

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FSC Canada is pleased to announce the approval of updated eligibility criteria for its Group Chain of Custody (CoC) certification.

This change is designed to better support small to medium-sized enterprises in accessing FSC certification, enhancing their ability to participate in sustainable forest management.

The revised criteria have been developed in accordance with the ‘Development of National Group Chain of Custody Eligibility Criteria Procedure’ (FSC-PRO-40-001 V1.1). Following a public consultation process, which aimed to capture a broad range of perspectives, the new criteria have been finalized and approved for implementation.

Key Changes in Eligibility Criteria:

FSC’s current Standard for Chain of Custody of Multiple Sites (FSC-STD-40-003 V2.1) considers small enterprises eligible to be included in a group certificate if they have:

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Notably, the new criteria does not include ‘total annual forest products turnover’ or any adjustments tied to the Annual Administration Fee (AAF) as originally proposed. FSC International, will revisit these changes as part of the revision to the Standard for Chain of Custody of Multiple Sites (FSC-STD-40-003 V2.1) which is set to undergo revision at the end of 2024.

Why the Revision?

FSC’s group certification was initially developed to assist smaller enterprises in achieving FSC certification by allowing them to join together under one certificate, thereby reducing costs and administrative requirements. The previous standard allowed small enterprises to be eligible if they had no more than 15 employees, or no more than 25 employees with a maximum total annual turnover of US $1,000,000.

Given the significant economic variations between countries where FSC operates, the eligibility criteria needed to be adapted to better reflect local realities and economic conditions in Canada. This revision aims to make FSC certification more accessible and feasible for a larger number of small to medium-sized enterprises.

How to Access the Updated Procedure:

The procedure addendum (FSC-PRO-40-003a) has been updated to reflect these changes and is available on the FSC Document Centre. Stakeholders and interested parties can review the revised document for detailed information on the updated criteria.

FSC-PRO-40-003a_EN List National CoC Group Eligibility Criteria_2024-06-20.pdf
PDF, Size: 292.90KB

Moving Forward:

FSC Canada remains committed to promoting sustainable forestry and supporting small to medium-sized enterprises in their certification journey. The new eligibility criteria are a significant step towards making FSC certification more inclusive and reflective of Canada's diverse economic landscape.

For more information on group certification visit our website or contact a group manager and join an existing group today!