How and when was FSC formed?
A group of timber users, traders and representatives of environmental and human-rights organizations met in California (USA) in 1990 to discuss how they could combine their interests to improve global forest management. Their meeting confirmed the need for an honest and credible system for identifying well-managed forests as acceptable sources of forest products. It was from these beginnings that the Forest Stewardship Council developed.
In September 1993 in Toronto (Canada), 130 representatives from around the world came together to hold the Founding Assembly of the Forest Stewardship Council. In October 1993 an agreement was reached to launch FSC, and by August 1994 a definitive set of Principles and Criteria, together with the Statutes for the Council were agreed and approved by the votes of the Founding Members.
Who are FSC's members?
FSC has attracted participation from a wide range of social, community and indigenous peoples groups as well as responsible corporations, development aid agencies and other public organizations.
FSC members include environmental organizations such as WWF, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, as well as responsible companies such as IKEA, Home Depot, B&Q and OBI.
FSC has the support of a large and growing number of companies, who have united themselves in various countries into 'buyers groups'. The members of such buyers groups have committed themselves to selling only independently certified timber and timber products within three to five years. The FSC-labeling scheme is the preferred scheme for buyers groups in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, USA and Japan.
This unprecedented alliance of major companies, NGOs and a host of other supporters around the world has resulted in dialogue and answers to previously unresolvable forest managment challenges and has changed forest management practices worldwide.
What is forest certification?
Forest certification is the process of evaluating forests or woodlands to determine if they are being managed according to an agreed set of standards.
What is chain of custody?
Chain of custody is the path taken by raw materials from the forest to the consumer, including all successive stages of processing, transformation, manufacturing and distribution. From a customer perspective, the FSC label represents a promise that is being made to them. Chain of custody standards are the mechanism FSC has to ensure that 'promise' is delivered.
How is FSC funded?
FSC is funded through the support of charitable foundations, government donors, membership subscriptions and accreditation fees.
For more information about FSC, visit their website at www.fsc.org.