Certification of Forest Contractors (CeFCo)

Access to FSC certification and its benefits

CeFCO (© FSC A.C.)© FSC A.C.Access to FSC certification and its benefits can be more challenging for small forest holders who often face cost and procedural barriers to certification.

This three year project aims to facilitate certification of small private forests by developing tools for certification of forestry contractors.

The concept of contracting a certified forest service enterprise offers individual forest owners assurance that they are complying with all relevant FSC rules. It also reduces the costs and work load of being FSC certified, especially if the use of certified contractors is combined with group certification.

The project will develop a concept for the certification of forest contractors and small forest operations in four countries in Europe. Awareness raising, training and promotion will follow at the national and European level.

Project objectives

Objective 1:
Develop international guidelines for contractor certification that may lead to independent certification of contractors.

Objective 2:
Develop simplified forest management standards for smallholders and criteria for forestry contractors; including specific indicators that clarify responsibilities between forest owners and forestry contractors.

Objective 3:
Facilitate forest management certification with the help of forestry contractors which fulfill all applicable certification requirements.

Objective 4:
Conduct training and awareness raising workshops in four countries.

Objective 5:
Present project results in an EU-wide training workshop with participation of key forestry contractors and private forest owner representatives.

Objective 6:
Develop a certification toolkit for private forest owners, group managers and forest service enterprises.

Objective 7:
80 small to medium sized forest service enterprises will offer certified forest management services to smallholder; certification of 500’000 ha of private forest.


Nature, Ecology and People Consult (NEPCon)
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
The European Network of Forest Entrepreneurs (ENFE)


Certification of small and medium size forest management units, owned by private owners, is currently one of the major bottlenecks for increasing FSC certified area. The challenge is particularly significant in Europe, with its 16 million small forest holders owning some 55 percent of European forests.

Get involved!

While EU funding covers 60% of the total project budget, additional support is needed to carry out all of the planned project activities.
If you would like to know more or support the project,
please contact:

Joachim Meier-Dörnberg
FSC Social Policy Manager 

© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000100