First GFTN Vietnam member achieves FSC certificationDa Nang, 25 September, 2012 – Forexco, The Forest Products Export Company of Quang Nam, has obtained Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for its nearly 1,500 hectares of forest in Da Nang city and Quang Nam central province.
Forexco is the first member of the Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN) in Vietnam- a WWF-led partnership- to obtain the certification and overall the 6th in the country. Forexco is among the businesses pioneering sustainable forest management and following the chain of custody (CoC), which is in line with the requirements of the Forest Law on Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Initiative for timber exports to European markets.
Mr Le Cong Uan, GFTN Vietnam Coordinator said, “This achievement is beneficial to both environmental protection and Forexco’s business. As a highly credible certification recognised worldwide, FSC becomes a necessary element for timber companies to conquer the demanding international markets.”
“It’s challenging for private small and medium companies to follow the FSC because of high investment of management, fee for certification and technical requirements. GFTN Vietnam is happy to support the joint stock Forexco to lift its management systems to a sustainable level that meets international environmental, social and economic standards,” he added.
Forexco started to approach FSC certification in 2006 for 4,000 hectares of planted forest. However, due to a land use tenure issue, the project was delayed until July 2011. Since then, two assessments were conducted: the pre-assessment in Oct 2011 and the main assessment in August 2012.
Forexco’s Director Pham Phu Thong said, “We are very happy and proud to receive this highly credible certification. With assistance from WWF, this achievement is the result of a collective effort and high commitment from our company to reach FSC standards. Together with the CoC certificates we have in our 4 factories, this forest management certificate will show our customers that Forexco’s wood supply chain is sustainable and controlled at every stage from from raw materials to final products. This really is an outstanding advantage for the future.”
Mr. Thong added: “We will continue to grow FSC-certified forest areas, focusing on the forests owned by our loan borrowers and whose forests, which border our forest area in order to increase the value and productivity of their forest. We do hope that once the local people are encouraged to follow FSC criteria, they will better understand FSC, its value and biodiversity services.”
Forexco and Quang Tri small households group, which was also supported by WWF to gain FSC certificiation in 2010, are already prepared to meet requirements of a Voluntary Partnership Agreement that Vietnam is expected to sign with the EU in 2013.
Established in 2005 as the national chapter of GFTN, GFTN Vietnam admitted its four first participants in 2006. GFTN Vietnam is a WWF-Vietnam working in partnership with the Vietnam Association of Timber and Forest Product (VIFORES) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). To date, the network has 12 timber processors/traders and one forest member Forexco.