See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

A couple of weeks ago, FSC-Watch received this email from Wally Menne of TimberWatch in South Africa. It raises an interesting point – the FSC International Secretariat produces almost exclusively good news, no matter what is happening in the outside world. So far, Wally has not received either a reply or an acknowledgment of his email. We will, of course, be happy to post FSC’s response when it appears.

Subject: RE: [FSCmembership] [N&N] News & Notes Annual Review 2006
From: Wally Menne
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 18:38:00 +0200
To: <u.walossek@fsc….>, <membership@fsc….>

Dear Uta

Thank you for the News & Notes Annual Review 2006.

It makes interesting reading, but I fear that it does not give a realistic view of the actual situation within FSC.

People need to know the full story about what is happening at FSC – not only the good news, but also some of the interesting challenges and problems that face the organisation. There needs to be a good balance in reporting, otherwise people will start to suspect that there is an attempt by FSC management to cover up anything negative that has happened. This could create far more problems in terms of members becoming disillusioned by the seeming unwillingness of FSC management to be open and honest.

For example, I heard today that there has been a suspension of the certification of Barama Co Ltd (BCL), Guyana (SGS-FM/COC-2493) forests undertaken by SGS Qualifor. Why did this news not come to me from FSC first?

Here in South Africa there is great concern about the poor standard of performance by SGS-Qualifor as a FSC approved certification body. Looking at the public summary of the audit of the SGS certification of Barama Co Ltd (BCL), there are the same problems that we see with the cerification work done by SGS-Qualifor here in South Africa. Unfortunately the performance of the Soil Association has not been much better.

Perhaps it is time to include some of the complaints that NGO stakeholders have about the way FSC accredited certification bodies fail to honour their obligations to delivering the standard of work that is expected of them.


Wally Menne South Africa


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