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Certification and Procurement

FERN’s aim is to advance the debate about the contribution of certification schemes to strengthening forest peoples’ rights and improving forestry practices and legislation. Our work on timber procurement aims to ensure the EU and Member States include forest peoples´rights and responsible forestry practices in their procurement policies.

FERN’s analysis: Whether or not to choose certified products is now an issue many people will have considered, as certification schemes have been developed for virtually every item on sale. Experience with certification schemes related to forest management during the past two decades has however shown the limits of certification in achieving real change in forestry practises on the ground. Certification schemes are often dominated by the forestry sector and, where this is not the case, certification bodies are increasingly certifying operations with poor forest management practices or that don’t fully recognise the rights of local communities.          

What FERN is doing: FERN supports groups to campaign against problematic certification operations or schemes. FERN is also actively involved in advocacy to ensure the EU and Member States's procurement policies will effectively outlaw purchasing from destructive forestry operations and use certification schemes where these can provide credible assurance of delivering timber from well-managed operations.

To learn more about this campaign: see FERN's statement to the Forest Stewardship Council on withdrawing FERN's membership, FERN’s statement on FSC, Footprints in the forest and Buying a sustainable future.

Most recent publications

Playing with Fire: Human Misery, Environmental Destruction and Summer BBQs

With temperatures soaring across Europe this summer millions have enjoyed barbecues – and will continue to do so until the last drops of warm weather. Yet few are aware of the true cost of the charcoal they fire them with.

PDF iconPlaying with Fire FINAL.pdf1.16 MB

Assessment of the European Commission's proposal for the revision of Public Procurement Directives

The Network for sustainable development in public procurement (NSPP) has conducted an assessment of the European Commission's proposal for the revision of the Public Procurement Directives.

Statement from NGOs on the EU Ecolabel and Asia Pulp and Paper

In 2006 the EU Ecolabel was awarded to two brands of photocopy paper – Golden Plus and Lucky Boss – produced by the Indonesian company Pindo Deli, a subsidiary of APP. In 2010, FERN published “EU Ecolabel allows forest destruction – the case of Pindo Deli,” questioning how the Ecolabel could be awarded to paper from a company such as Pindo Deli. It also exposed the flaws of the system: overall lack of transparency of the EU Ecolabel award process, the lack of a formal complaints mechanism and the weakness of the criteria for providing an EU Ecolabel to copying and graphic paper.

PDF iconNGO_statement_APP.pdf186.49 KB

Letter from Asia Pulp and Paper's lawyer re: FERN's report on Pindo Deli

On 21 November 2011, FERN was sent the attached letter from APP's lawyers. We will not be removing the report 'EU Ecolabel allows forest destruction - the case of Pindo Deli' from our site as we stand by the information in that document and the conclusion the EU Ecolabel needs to improve its transparency. For further information please see 'The EU Ecolabel and Asia Pulp and Paper' an NGO statement signed onto by fourteen NGOs.

PDF iconAPP_lawyers_letter V2.pdf189.44 KB

Key demands and messages from the Network for Sustainable Development in Public Procurement

Joint press release from the Network for Sustainable Development in Public Procurement on the occasion of the European Commission's Conference "Modernising public procurement"

FERN statement to the Forest Stewardship Council on withdrawing FERN's membership

In a position paper presented to the FSC General Assembly in 2008, FERN and other FSC members from the environmental and economic chamber highlighted the changes necessary for the FSC to regain and retain its credibility. In 2009, FERN followed this up with a statement outlining that as a member of FSC, challenges to FSC’s credibility had a negative effect on FERN’s own credibility. The statement identified three courses of action that would lead to FERN terminating its FSC membership. 

PDF iconFERN leaving FSC.pdf624.85 KB