Certification in Farm and Forest: A Comparison of Organic Standards and Timber Certification E11
Dudley, Nigel1; Elliot, Christopher2; Stolton, Sue1
1) Equilibrium Consultants, 23 Bath Buildings, Bristol BS6 5PT, UK 2) WWF International, 1196 Gland, Switzerland
|Recent developments in the independent certification of timber from well-managed forests have close parallels with certification of organic food, and people involved in setting up the Forest Stewardship Council have consciously drawn on the experience of IFOAM and others. Both are international NGOs, with a set of principles used to accredit certification bodies. Nonetheless, there are important differences between the two movements. IFOAM is a long-established organisation, drawing on a broad framework of philosophy and practical experience, and with a wide range of functions including accreditation. The FSC is much newer, with a narrower focus, and has the aim to certify a large proportion of timber within the next few years. Pragmatists accuse IFOAM of unrealistic idealism while idealists accuse the FSC of aiming too low in its principles and criteria of good forestry. The paper discusses the practical implications of the two systems, possible room for cooperation and relevant experience that could be passed from one to the other.