Friday, 26 October 2012
FSC and friends celebrate In Good Company in Brazil
FSC held its premier event for key accounts, “In Good Company,” from 27-30 September in Porto Seguro, Brazil, bringing together companies, FSC staff, and NGOs from around the world to exchange information on forest issues.
Over a hundred participants discussed topics such as the growing importance of smallholder and community forestry, strategic opportunities in the green building sector, the relationship of forest legality efforts with FSC certification, the market potential for FSC’s upcoming online claims platform as a tool to support transparency and traceability in the marketplace, future supply scenarios and approaches from companies such as Kimberly-Clark, TetraPak, SCA, Bozovich, Angel Estrada, Suzano and others.
A highlight was the presentation from Keila Hand, Senior Programme Officer, GFTN-North America, who talked about the role of forests, plantations and the pulp and paper sector in a world where the population and fiber needs are growing. She emphasized the need for responsibly-sourced paper products and how certification plays a role in ensuring good forestry practices. Miguel Sampol, representing Bracelpa, the Brazilian Pulp and Paper Association, highlighted the growing challenges in meeting the needs of future generations. He specifically addressed the approach of the Brazilian forest plantation sector and the new cycle of investments and expansion through outgrowers to increase the certified area.
New opportunities for collaboration between FSC, companies and NGOs such as GFTN in Latin America were intensely discussed including the uptake of group certification for small producers, increasing the marketing benefits for community-based products and improving modular approaches to certification.
Attendees also spent time in the field with a visit to certified operations (natural and planted forests) and community initiatives in the area.
“In Good Company” was the first FSC event for key accounts celebrated outside Germany, and marked the last public event attended by outgoing Director General, Andre de Freitas. Bahia State, where the event was held, is a priority area for FSC and is home to the important historic remains of the Atlantic Forest. The region has more than 400 million hectares of FSC certified operations, representing one of the biggest FSC certified areas in Brazil.
The event was jointly hosted by FSC International and FSC Brazil.