Q. How can we be sure the timber grown under such a scheme is the same as that used in pens, pencils and paper products we buy branded with the FSC mark.
A. Chain of Custody certification. A COC certificate must be obtained for every element of the products life cycle. Anybody trading in FSC labeled materials of finished products must have a COC certificate.
Q. Why is a COC important?
A. To obtain a COC companies must have in place procedures that ensure FSC and NON FSC materials and finished goods are never mixed up. eg; a saw mill will be taking in raw timber every day, this will be a mix of timbers from FSC certified sources and non FSC certified sources. It is essential that the mill can keep track of the FSC timber all the way through its processes to ensure what’s sold on as FSC is exactly the same timber that’s bought in as FSC. Likewise paper printers must have safeguards to ensure FSC paper is not mixed with sustainable, recycled or virgin paper. As raw timber, planks and unprinted paper are hard to tell apart its essential the procedures for tracking the FSC materials are failsafe. To retain a COC every certificate holder has these procedures recorded and audited annually on behalf of the FSC.
Q. Can the trade promote these goods as FSC to the end user clients?
A. Unless you have a COC yourselves you can make no direct claims about any item being from FSC sources. If however you use our catalogue or websites you are able to use our claims as the COC certificate holder.
Q. Can end users do any “off product” marketing that includes reference to these products as FSC?
A. Only if they have a COC or a Trademark Resource Pack, the latter are available from FSC and are free of charge. This includes websites and other written literature.
Q. Can we buy plain stock FSC items?
A. You can buy them plain but you cannot sell them on again as FSC, unless you have a COC number yourselves.
Q. Can we use our printers to print your FSC products?
A. If they have a COC themselves you can, otherwise any claim printed onto an item must be done so by printers covered by an FSC COC certificate holder.
Q. What FSC detail does the item have to carry?
A. The product must carry the COC number of those responsible for printing. It must also carry an FSC logo and registered trademark information.
Q. Does all artwork have to be signed off by FSC?
A. Yes. This is undertaken by an independent company representing the FSC and can take a few extra days so allow more lead time than normal.
NOTE: under no circumstances can FSC labeled items be sold by the end user without a COC of their own.