Using Forensics to Strengthen Supply Chains

FSC is the most trusted forest certification scheme and we take the credibility of our system seriously. Consumers want to be sure that the certified products on retailers’ shelves can be traced back to a responsibly managed forest. As part of our plan to address any risks in certified supply chains, we use wood identification technology to help verify tree species and harvest location.

In 2017, FSC completed a pilot test in North America with great success. Wood samples were collected directly from forests to create a reference library which can be used whenever various tests on FSC-certified products are necessary to confirm the origin of the wood in the product. This allows buyers, sellers and traders to feel confident that the products they receive from suppliers are exactly what they claim to be.

We are working with credible partners such as Kew Gardens (UK) and the US Forest Service to create a global open source reference library of wood samples. This means that it will be accessible to anyone, thereby broadening the benefits beyond just FSC and having a greater impact to combat illegal logging worldwide.