This is the Historic Review of VicForests efforts to attain FSC® controlled wood certification, 2007 – 2020.
Prepared by Adam Fletcher.
EEG has been advocating for the removcal of VicForests from the membership of the Forest Stewadship Council (FSC) since 2013. VicForests failed its first attempt to gain certification in 2009 with Woodmark being their auditing body.
Since then VicForests has been in breach of membership requirements. For inexplicable reasons, the FSC Board refused and it remained a member of the economic chamber without adhering to FSC principles.
VicForests has breached conduct and constitutional rules of membership over that time, even after the Board agreed and declared they should be expelled.
It has taken persistent and dogged lobbying of the FSC to have their membership revoked. In April this year our letters of complaint were finally rewarded and VicForests disappeared from the membership list. Later we received confirmation that they were no longer members of the FSC. The below was the summary of their first fail in 2009.
“VicForests are a member of the FSC and have been since 2007. As you are aware, VicForests failed its FSC audit with major non-conformances:
Following Main Evaluation Woodmark concluded that VicForests could not currently demonstrate adequate compliance with FSC Principles and Criteria to justify issue of a certificate.
A number of non-compliances were noted that would require attention before a certificate could be issued. Major non-compliances were noted at Principle level for four Principles: P3 – Indigenous Peoples Rights; P6 – Environmental Protection; P8 –Monitoring; P9 – High Conservation Value Forests. Woodmark understands that VicForests is evaluating what action may be necessary in order to deal with these noncompliances.
Further Minor non-compliances were noted under all Principles. VicForests would need to deal with these non-compliances within a year of issue of any certificate.
Woodmark Soil Association. Public Feedback Statement relating to FSC evaluation of VicForests, Victoria, Australia. August 2009