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CERTIFICATION

CERTIFICATION

Many of the products we buy display the widely recognised kite marks of national and global certification bodies, providing assurances to us as consumers. But what are the certification opportunities for non-timber forest products? 

CERTIFICATION

Product certification is the process of verifying that a particular product has passed performance, quality assurance and/or sustainability tests.

Certification is an important consideration when deciding which messages you want to send to buyers and end users of products, and may have an impact on the prices you can charge for goods or services. A certified product will give buyers the assurance that what they’re buying has been grown, harvested and processed sustainably.

There are several different certification schemes available that relate to the sustainable harvesting of non-timber woodland products:

  • Woodland Products can be certified via the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) UK or, alternatively, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). These are both non-profit organisations which manage certification schemes for specific timber and non-timber products. To qualify these products must come from certified woodlands. Both FSC and PEFC certify woodlands using the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS).

  • Organic certification via the Soil Association for food or farmed products from certified farms. Soil Association organic standards use the EU organic regulation as their baseline.

  • International certification schemes such as FairWild which aims to provide a global framework for implementing a sustainable and fair-trading system for wild-collected plant ingredients and their products, including fair and equitable payment for workers.

When considering whether certification is appropriate for your business you will need to consider the following:

  • What is the value of certifying your product?
  • What are the cost and resource implications?
  • How will certification benefit your business?

There is no easy answer to these questions, as all will depend on an individual product and markets, but the questions are ones that the Dewis Gwyllt follow-on project Goods from the Woods will be exploring via a digital marketing platform for woodland products and services, and associated trials of certification schemes. More information coming soon!


CERTIFICATION

Product certification is the process of verifying that a particular product has passed performance, quality assurance and/or sustainability tests.

Certification is an important consideration when deciding which messages you want to send to buyers and end users of products, and may have an impact on the prices you can charge for goods or services. A certified product will give buyers the assurance that what they’re buying has been grown, harvested and processed sustainably.

There are several different certification schemes available that relate to the sustainable harvesting of non-timber woodland products:

  • Woodland Products can be certified via the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) UK or, alternatively, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). These are both non-profit organisations which manage certification schemes for specific timber and non-timber products. To qualify these products must come from certified woodlands. Both FSC and PEFC certify woodlands using the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS).

  • Organic certification via the Soil Association for food or farmed products from certified farms. Soil Association organic standards use the EU organic regulation as their baseline.

  • International certification schemes such as FairWild which aims to provide a global framework for implementing a sustainable and fair-trading system for wild-collected plant ingredients and their products, including fair and equitable payment for workers.

When considering whether certification is appropriate for your business you will need to consider the following:

  • What is the value of certifying your product?
  • What are the cost and resource implications?
  • How will certification benefit your business?

There is no easy answer to these questions, as all will depend on an individual product and markets, but the questions are ones that the Dewis Gwyllt follow-on project Goods from the Woods will be exploring via a digital marketing platform for woodland products and services, and associated trials of certification schemes. More information coming soon!


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