PEFC certification is here

11 December 2015

NZ plantation forest owners now have two options for getting their forests certified -- through the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) or the incumbent Forest Stewardship Council.

The Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has this week endorsed the New Zealand Forest Certification Scheme. PEFC is the world's largest forest certification scheme.  

"We are delighted to be the 37th national scheme endorsed by PEFC and to be able to offer this scheme to New Zealand forest owners and managers, processors and others in the value chain", says Dr Andrew McEwen, chair of the NZ Forest Certification Association (NZFCA).

With more than 268 million hectares of certified forests, PEFC promotes sustainable forest management through independent, third-party certification. It works throughout the supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that wood products are produced to the highest ecological, social and ethical standards. Thanks to its eco-label, customers worldwide are able to clearly identify products from sustainably managed forests.

"New Zealand has a long standing reputation for the quality of its forest management and wood manufacturing. The availability of PEFC certification will enhance that reputation in its extensive overseas markets", said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

"The New Zealand forest and wood products sector relies heavily on exports with around 70% of production being exported. Increasingly their main markets, particularly Australia, North America and Asia are demanding third party certification as proof of legality of harvest and quality of forest management. Most of the countries New Zealand exports to are now PEFC members and recognise PEFC certification as meeting their import requirements. 

"With the endorsement of the New Zealand system, the country's forest owners can now obtain PEFC certification for their responsible forest management practices, enabling processors and others along the forest products supply chain to procure PEFC certified material from local, sustainably managed sources as well as access to new markets", added Mr Gunneberg.

Dr McEwen says forest managers, wood processors and others in the value chain interested in having their operations certified to the New Zealand PEFC Standard should now contact their certification bodies.

"We acknowledge the assistance we have had from Australian Forestry Standard Ltd., financial assistance from the Wood Council of NZ who initiated the project, support from Standards NZ, financial assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, AGMARDT and the support of PEFC", said Dr McEwen.  

Source: NZ Forest Certification Association media release (edited)