BIOD: Certification Pays, Concept at Risk]

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Sat Dec 9 17:16:46 EST 2000

Bob Weinberger wrote:

> Maybe before you go off on one of your famous rants,

It's great being famous. <G>

> you should read the
> post to which you are responding.
> Note the use of the phrase "if the forest owner chooses to take that
> route...".

Of course, that's not what the public hears- the public assumes that SFI is a
professional program which implies some sort of high quality oversight.

>  While independant third party certification  is not a
> requirement for participation in SFI, the SFI program has a provision for
> voluntary participation in independant third party certification.

Terrific, I'm sure most timber beasts will volunteer. <G>

>  As I
> stated in my original post, most of the larger companies have chosen to take
> that route for the added credibility that an independant third party audit
> provides.  Apparently the state of Mass. has not opted to undergo a third
> party audit.

Uh huh! Well, I guess I better just go suggest it to them and if they don't-
I'll request that the Mass. Audubon requests that they do so. Thanks for this
piece of information. That might be just the leverage to bust the b***s. <G>
Then I'll let them know that I found this out from you. <G>

> The major reasons  that the larger companies choose SFI over FSC have little
> to do with the relative stringency of the forest management standards of
> each.

Nah, of course not. <G>

>  Two of the primary objections to the FSC criteria by the larger
> companies are:
> 1.  As you have yourself decried in a previous post, much of the criteria
> for FSC certification is simply social engineering and has little or nothing
> to do with forest management.

Well, what I meant was that I fear that is the case. Of course if that is the
case, they could improve on it. I do believe however that FSC will have a
stronger emphasis on "ecosystem values" without the usual defenses of heavy
cutting. It goes without saying that if SFI wins the battle, not much will
really change in the woods. If FSC wins, much will change for the better,
despite the hassles.

> 2.  The "chain of custody" issue is an economic and administrative nightmare
> for any company that makes more than just lumber and plywood.
> As an example: the local particleboard plant gets about 50% of its raw
> material ,in the form of mill residuals (planer shavings, veneer trim, & dry
> sawdust) from about 15 different sawmills & plywood plants, less than half
> of which are operations of the same company.  Each of these mills in turn
> gets their raw material from 15-20 different sources.  Another 10-20% comes
> from about 5 different suppliers in the form of ground up "urban wood" ( old
> pallets, salvage lumber from old buildings that are being torn down, etc.)
> that is being recycled.  The final 30-40% comes as residuals from 30-40
> second, third and fourth level manufacturing operations - furniture makers,
> cut-up plants, moulding plants, door & window plants, etc.  Each of these
> sources has from 5- 15 different suppliers of their raw material in the
> level directly below them and the number of suppliers increases
> logarithmically at each level in the supply chain.
> The cost to track this raw material chain, even if only a " substantial
> portion" of the raw material must be certified as coming from certified
> sources, makes this a non-starter.  Paper mills, at least in the Northwest,
> have a supply chain that is almost as complex as the one cited above.

Well, just think if all those suppliers got FSC certified? Then documenting the
chain will be less important.

What really counts though is how the public will "vote" on this issue in the
stores. It's now a public relations battle- and this little dialogue is a small
part of that struggle. I hope the public is paying attention to alt.forestry.

Thanks for your comments.

> Bob Weinberger
> "Joseph Zorzin" <redoak at> wrote in message
> news:3A322A3A.C20853D6 at
> > Bob Weinberger wrote:
> >
> > > While you may not agree with the standards that SFI uses, the system
> does
> > > provide for third party certification that they are meeting those
> standards,
> > > if the forest owner chooses to take that route.  In fact most of the
> larger
> > > companies have gone through or are going through third party
> certification
> > > of their SFI program by independant third parties.
> >
> > And just how good is that third party certification?
> >
> > My state of Mass. has gotten SFI "certification" for it's mgt. of state
> forest
> > land. Who is doing the third party certification for that?
> >
> > My state is doing a piss poor job of managing the public's forest
> resource. I
> > consider this example a test of the legitimacy of SFI. If SFI really is
> > legitimate then they should throw my state DEM out of the SFI program.
> >
> > And, if you really know anything about SFI third party certification, you
> will
> > proceed to tell me who to contact to bitch about SFI certification for my
> state
> > DEM. If you don't, then you don't know what you're talking about and you
> are
> > brainwashed by the party line. Just because they CLAIM to have third party
> > certification, doesn't make it the truth.
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > Bob Weinberger
> > >
> > > >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Joe  Zorzin, Ecoforester
> >
> >
> > Take the "ecoforester test", to see if you qualify!
> >
> >
> > "Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river." Lao Tse
> >
> >

Joe  Zorzin, Ecoforester

Take the "ecoforester test", to see if you qualify!

"Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river." Lao Tse

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