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JOHANNESBURG - The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) on Monday announced that Woolworths South Africa has become the first African company to sign “The Vancouver Declaration” which was launched on October 10 at the FSC General Assembly.

The Vancouver Declaration is an ambitious new initiative to increase the use of materials from responsibly managed forests and allows businesses who use these natural products to pledge their commitment to increase responsible sourcing.

Head of Sustainability for Woolworths Feroz Koor, said: “We are proud to be the first African retailer to sign the FSC’s Vancouver Declaration. FSC is a best-in-class certification system that enables us, and our suppliers to ensure that forest products are not sourced from illegal timber logging operations. This ultimately ensures the protection of natural forests and promotes environmental protection in commercial forestry”.

As the world’s leading forest certification organisation, the FSC label guarantees that harvested trees are replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally, and that key biodiversity-rich sites are not destroyed when forest products are sourced. Established in 1993, the organisation represents a market-based solution to address concerns around global deforestation. To become FSC certified,operations have to meet a rigorous set of standards and criteria that promote responsible forest management across the full supply chain, from forest to consumer.


Regional Director for FSC Africa,Chris Burchmore  said: “We are very happy that Woolworths responded to our call of supporting this declaration. This is signifying their commitment to using FSC certified forest products, helping to protect both our forests and the planet our hope is to see many more African companies also signing the declaration.”

Global companies like IKEA, H&M, SIG, Marks and Spencer, Jysk, Mitsubishi Paper Mills orFuji Xerox have already pledged support to the initiative. The aim is to get more businesses across the entire supply chain on board.

-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE