FSC changes and how they will affect you

The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) are in the process of developing their Online Claims Platform (OCP) which sounds quite innocent until you look more closely at what it entails.

They have concerns about how the amount of certified material output claims vary to that of the input material. However the intended plan will require considerable extra input work hours for certificate holders, because it is a stand alone process, and therefore means double handling to fulfil the process for most clients.

FSC report that origination error claims are at an unacceptable level, although they don’t know what the exact level of inaccurate claims is – but they believe the OCP will help them reduce it to less than 1% - quite a claim (!) when you don’t know where the start point is.

A claim of data entry reduction of >5% is therefore very optimistic, when many clients currently generate quarterly or annual input/output volume summaries.

The exact detail of how this process will work is still unclear, but it could have a huge impact on those certificate holders that buy stock and sell in small or even individual item quantities.

Sounds like one entry for purchase, and countless entries for sales - unless it can be summarised and then hey presto, you’re back with what you were doing anyway.

And then there is the question of confidentiality – FSC claim that their partner in this venture is one of the world’s leading providers of secure traceability – but everybody knows how anything on the web is vulnerable.

We would recommend that all of our client certificate holders take a close look at the FSC website info about the OCP and consider how it will affect them... since already some certificate holders are questioning whether their certification costs can be justified in the future.

This would be a great pity since the fundamental objectives of the FSC are beyond reproach, but if they turn it into a leviathan of data processing they could lose the support they so desperately rely on.

Roger Warwick Environmental Officer