What is the Smallholder Fund?

The Fund helps smallholders achieve and maintain FSC certification

The Smallholder Fund was created to improve smallholders’ capacity to achieve and maintain FSC certification, to strengthen their ability to benefit from the FSC system, and to increase the supply of FSC-certified materials.

Created in 2013, the Smallholder Fund will be awarded for the second time in 2015. It will be distributed to the beneficiaries by the end of the year.

The Smallholder Fund provides resources directly to smallholders, not to intermediary organizations such as those implementing projects with smallholders.

Applicants can be either FSC certified or in the process of becoming certified. They must meet eligibility criteria for small, low-intensity or community production.

1. Specific objectives of the Fund:

  • Strengthening the internal structure of smallholder organizations
  • Building smallholder ownership of the process, administration and business of their certification
  • Building capacity for entrepreneurship
  • Enhancing supply chain management
  • Improving market access for certified products

2. The Fund can help smallholders meet the costs of certification in relation to five key expenses:

  • Preparation for FSC certification (e.g. technical assistance, certification training, establishing SLIMF group procedures)
  • Compliance costs (e.g. new or adapted management plans; set-aside, buffer areas and conservation zones; management of High Conservation Value forests)
  • Investments in the production chain (e.g. machines, equipment, capacity-building, training)
  • Investments in the supply chain through chain of custody certification under the use of the Small and Community Label Option (SCLO) and the Made With Heart Campaign
  • Marketing strategies and sales (e.g. training, participation in trade fairs)

3. The Fund cannot provide resources for:

  • Direct audit costs
  • Vehicles, office material, software, hardware, buildings acquisition or rent
  • External costs such as payment of debts or taxes
  • Staff salaries or other costs such as social or health insurance

The Smallholder Fund is a project-bound small grant scheme. It is not a micro-credit scheme providing repayable loans, or an outreach tool for the strategic activities of FSC national offices or representatives.

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