Thursday, 05. December 2013
FSC strengthens partnerships in Portugal and Spain to add value to the forestry sector
On 21 November, the first ever Iberian FSC Business Encounter saw FSC directly engaging with more than 80 businesses and FSC certificate holders from across Portugal and Spain. The agenda focused on market developments, FSC certification and bridging the gap between supply of and demand for certified products.
The program was enriched by discussions with leading companies such as Coca Cola Iberia, Tetra Pak Iberia, Brico Dépôt Spain (Kingfisher Group), Portucel Soporcel, Sonae Indústria, ENCE, Ferrovial and M.A.Silva. The European perspective was presented by three industry associations – the Confederation of European Paper Industry, the European Cork Federation (C.E.Liège) and the EuroCommerce trade association.
FSC Spain, FSC Portugal and FSC International also came together to discuss initiatives for improving the FSC system, FSC brand value and the challenges that market partners face regarding FSC certification.
The Secretary of State for Forestry and Rural Development of Portugal, Francisco Gomes da Silva, was responsible for the opening session, highlighting the importance of the export industry for the country and the added value that forest certification represents for an industry in which Portugal is a global player, particularly in the fields of cork, pulp and paper and furniture.
FSC staff presented the findings of a study into consumer preferences. They have greater trust in companies and products when they are backed by certification marks, and indicated their preference for sustainable products that come from responsible managed sources. The study concludes that it is a priority to increase awareness and motivate companies to collaborate and implement environmental practices as a growth factor and differentiator for their business.
Nuno Calado, Chairman of the Board of FSC Portugal said: “These results assure us that FSC certification is essential to create value for the future, and to allow market differentiation in forest products through conscious and informed consumer choice."