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What is Chain of Custody?

 

Consumers in growing numbers are seeking evidence of environmentally sound business

FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC TM (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) certified products provide an assurance mechanism to purchasers of wood and paper products that they are promoting the sustainable management of forests. Sustainably managed forests are those whose management implements performance standards based on internationally agreed environmental, social and economic requirements that form the cornerstones of sustainability. Although many forests are sustainably managed, the only way to provide credible proof of this is through independent checking.

Therefore, as someone who is independent qualified and impartial (a certifier) needs to check that the forests are managed on the ground according to these cornerstones and other key elements such as international conventions. This is called forest certification.

Similarly a certifier has to check that enterprises, including timber merchants, have wood accounting systems in place, so that wood from a certified forest can be traced from harvested tree through to finished product. This is called chain of custody certification. Every enterprise is a link in the overall "chain" for the wood from forest to the final product. It is therefore important that all enterprises dealing with wood have their area of responsibility certified to ensure that this "chain" is complete.

Forestrall (Timber and Fencing Merchants) Ltd has been authorised to purchase and sell both FSC® and PEFC TM.

When making your initial enquiry please specify at that time if you need Chain of Custody. Chain of Custody is not retrospective. You must specify that all goods are to have Chain of Custody when placing the initial order. Chain of Custody is not automatic. Please bear in mind that only a small percentage of the world’s forests currently have certification and not all goods imported into the UK will have Chain of Custody. All suppliers attempt to purchase from sustainable, legal well-managed forests but this does not mean that they will be certified.

Please also bear in mind that not every product will have chain of Custody. Please try to be flexible: FSC® is not the only scheme available. The PEFC TM scheme, whilst not the same, shares many of the values and ideals of FSC® and both schemes are recognised as being legitimate, by the government body responsible for timber procurement, CPET (Central Point of Expertise on Timber).

Whilst I am pleased to inform you that most timber products you will source from Forestrall Ltd are Chain of Custody approved because our company policy is to purchase as much certified material as possible, we can’t issue these credentials for specific orders retrospectively.

Consumers in growing numbers are seeking evidence of environmentally sound business practices. Public authorities and enterprise procurement policies increasingly demand reassurance and proof from the wood-processing industries that the wood they use comes from sustainably managed sources.

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