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Friday, 31 March 2017
Bonn, Germany (31 March 2017) - The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has agreed to commence a dialogue with the Schweighofer Group in view of developing a roadmap that will seek to address and correct the group’s violations of the Policy for Association (PfA) as put forward in the Complaints Panel report from October 2016.
The Schweighofer Group has committed itself to cooperate fully in the process and FSC encourages further improvements of its Due Diligence System.
The roadmap process, still at a preliminary stage, will be complemented by the final findings of the current PfA investigation that FSC is undertaking to determine whether or not the Schweighofer Group has violated Romanian timber measurements standards. Results of this investigation will be used for the final roadmap framework.
The roadmap process will be guided by the Conditions Framework that FSC is to develop based on the Conditions for Re-association that were proposed by the Complaints Panel as a result of their in-depth investigation of the Schweighofer Group which concluded that the company had violated FSC’s Policy for Association with regards to its timber trade operations in Romania.
This Conditions Framework will clearly stipulate the conditions that the Schweighofer Group will need to fulfill and how this fulfillment will be verified towards a future ending of the current disassociated status. It will require to correct the identified shortcomings and wrongdoings, compensate for the environmental and social damages resulting from these and prevent the reoccurrence of any wrongdoings and/or violations of FSC’s Policy for Association.
Multi stakeholder engagement
As a first step in the roadmap process, FSC will carry out a consultation process with relevant local, national and international stakeholders to obtain input for the proposed Conditions Framework and will revise it according to the feedback received from these stakeholders. Stakeholders representing all three chambers, the environmental, social and economic, will be consulted in this process.
As part of the further roadmap process, the Schweighofer Group will have to present FSC with a detailed Action Plan that addresses the conditions stipulated by the Conditions Framework. Developing a roadmap constitutes a key part of the process towards ending disassociation with an organization under FSC’s Policy for Association. FSC’s decision about ending the disassociation is strictly conditional to a successful and satisfactory fulfillment of the Conditions Framework set forth by FSC, which will be independently verified.