In my blog
on Better Ingredients
, an associate questioned my bias and support for
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. I, as we all, have biases.
Giving preference to FSC is one of them, and I’m glad that I was "called out"
on it. Do I think that FSC is perfect? No. Is it possible for me to support
other certification schemes? If they meet stringent, authentic, transparent and
comprehensive standards, yes. The following are some of my reasons for
supporting FSC:

  1. FSC does not allow
    genetically-modified (GMO) trees to be certified.
  2. FSC has a transparent and
    participatory process wherein anyone can join their economic,
    environmental, or social "chambers," and each chamber elects an equal
    number of representatives to the FSC board.
  3. Each independent analysis
    that I’ve reviewed comparing FSC to other certification schemes
    demonstrates a preference for FSC. There is a helpful chart comparing the
    various certification schemes on pages 18 and 19 of World Wide Fund for
    Nature’s (WWF) Global
    Forest and Trade
    Network publication, Keep
    It Legal

I’ve kept this blog post short and simple, but I do
recognize the complexity of the issue. Standards are evaluated frequently and I
give credit to certification schemes like FSC and SFI for continually improving.
However, at the end of the day, I still give preference to FSC. I won’t claim
to be the best expert on this so I’ve invited representatives from competing U.S.
certification bodies FSC-US and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) to
make their case themselves. I have let them each see this blog in advance so
that they can respond to any of my comments.

Form your own opinion by reading directly from FSC and SFI why they feel their
certification schemes are preferable. I hope you engage in a dialogue by
posting comments and questions below …

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