Select Committee on Environmental Audit Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary letter to the Clerk of the Committee from Anna Jenkins, Director, Forest Stewardship Council UK Working Group

  This addendum relates to point three of the FSC UK submission "Is there really little or no supply of FSC wood?"

  Trade figures:

  1999 1.8 per cent of the UK wood and paper product market was FSC certified; the FSC market was worth £351 million in terms of retail sales.

  2000 3.4 per cent of the wood and paper market was FSC certified; a value of £629 million in retail sales. This represented a growth rate of 90 per cent over a one year period.

  Both the growth rate and market share of FSC are higher than all other similar ethical certification systems eg organic food, fairtrade goods etc.

  There are over 10,000 product lines available in the UK, timber originating from all over the world. Currently 54 countries have FSC certified forests.

  In the UK over one million ha of forest and woodland are FSC certified (most through the UKWAS—see point four in the full submission from FSC UK). This is approximately a third of the UK forest cover and represents approximately 75 per cent of the home produced commercial production. The UK is therefore significantly further ahead than most countries in terms of certification of its own forests. This has lead to economic benefits for UK companies eg for the first time in approximately 60 years UK timber processed by a UK company is supplying some of Railtrack's demand for FSC certified railway sleepers. There are many other similar stories.

  There are key product sectors/countries of origin where FSC certified is not available eg West Africa, Guyana, ready made windows. Increased demand and aid to ensure that specific countries are assisted to meet certification standards in a step by step timed manner is critical. If forest management is to be drastically improved in key countries such as Cameroon, Gabon and Guyana and sustainable development achieved maintaining a long-term forest resource, government assistance to this end is critical including sending clear demand signals for the ultimate need for FSC certified timber. This could be achieved through support of both the FSC system and the Producer Group concept (please see submission by Ruth Nussbaum of Proforest for further information on the latter.) (See Appendix 6).

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