Introducing FSC Trace

Transforming Supply Chain Integrity
Hand holding a smartphone / PeopleImages

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is an innovative digital technology that keeps a secure record of transactions. It helps trading partners reach an agreement on transaction details like volume, product, and species. Once a transaction is on the blockchain, it cannot be edited or deleted without a record of the change being recorded, ensuring a robust audit trail.  
And perhaps most importantly; in FSC our blockchain will act as a secure platform for trading partners to exchange data while protecting confidential information throughout the supply chain.

Wood grain texture / duncan1890

How can blockchain improve FSC’s supply chain?

We are dedicated to advancing supply chain integrity within the FSC system. We are therefore excited to launch FSC Trace (formerly FSC Blockchain) (Beta) in Q1 2024 for selected pilot supply chains, with full release for all FSC Licence Holders expected in August 2024

This private blockchain ledger platform is designed to validate materials’ trade compliance across FSC supply chains. It is a self-service digital platform offering security, trustworthiness, and the potential to revolutionize trade compliance verification and traceability. 

Linking supply chains from forest to final product, FSC Trace empowers seamless data flow throughout the entire supply chain to deliver both verification and traceability of supply chains, whilst ensuring participants are always in full control of their data, and able to decide who can see what data and when, thus safeguarding commercial confidentiality. 

Supporting FSC licence holders in regulatory compliance and EUDR

FSC Trace is a pivotal platform in fulfilling FSC's commitment to assisting licence holders in due diligence and complying with evolving regulations globally. It will assist companies by: 

  • Verifying the certification status of suppliers at the point of transaction. 
  • Generating verified and traceable claims regarding products traded between themselves and trading partners. 
  • Passing relevant data about the raw materials comprising FSC-certified products, including information such as geo-location of origin, time of harvest, species, product groups, and other essential data points. 

These data points will support companies needing to address legislations such as European Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), the European Timber Regulation (EUTR), the US Lacey Act and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act amongst other legislation currently in place or under development and implementation. 

Combined with the upcoming FSC Regulatory Module and other technology tools, FSC Trace (Beta) will systematically transform the verification, data enrichment, and connectivity of claims about FSC-certified products throughout supply chains. Jointly these new FSC tools make out the new FSC offering FSC Aligned for EUDR, which will support companies throughout forest supply chains to meet their EUDR due diligence reporting obligations.

phone screen
iStock / Sitthiphong

How can I get access to FSC Trace

FSC Trace is currently in Beta mode, undergoing rigorous testing within select pilot supply chains.

The aim is to refine and optimize its functionality based on real-world scenarios and user feedback. 

We anticipate opening the platform for all certificate holders and FSC Promotional Licence Holders on a voluntary basis from August 2024. Additional functionality like specialized reporting for EUDR and connection to FSC Risk Hub is anticipated to launch in October 2024. 

This phased approach allows us to ensure a smooth transition, fostering collaboration and feedback from diverse stakeholders within the FSC community. 

Learn more at our reoccurring webinars

Starting February 2024, we will initiate a series of regular webinars to showcase FSC Trace and address any inquiries our licence holders and other interested stakeholders may have.  

These interactive sessions aim to provide in-depth demonstrations, offering a firsthand look at the functionalities and benefits of FSC Trace.

Watch the recording of the latest webinar held on June 20, 2024 here

Access the slides used at the presentation  here

Join our webinars!
Every second month, we host a webinar for licence holders to learn more about FSC Trace.
Register now →

6 Ways FSC Trace Enhances Supply Chain Verification

Once fully developed and released FSC Trace will support supply chain verification in multiple ways.
Permissioned ledgers

Permissioned Ledgers

Unlike public blockchains associated with cryptocurrencies, our FSC Trace utilizes consortium blockchain ledgers, also referred to as "permissioned" private blockchain ledgers. These ledgers incorporate access restrictions, allowing only authorized parties to participate. This ensures a secure and controlled environment, even when parties do not have a direct contractual relationship with each other.

Secure technology

Secure technology

Moving beyond traditional paper-based record-keeping systems, our system incorporates secure blockchain technology to minimize the risk of fraudulent claims through tampering or falsification of documentation. Introducing a digital option enhances the ability to verify materials FSC compliance, supporting fully connected and verified supply chains.

Access to all parties

Access to all parties

FSCTrace establishes connections among trading partners at every stage of the supply chain, from forest to finalized product. This interconnectedness enables seamless compliance verification of materials throughout the supply chain without revealing the entire set of businesses participating in the supply chain unless approved by the individual companies.

Real-time verification

Real-time verification

FSC-certified organizations are mandated to maintain material accounting records of their certified materials. Leveraging blockchain technology allows for instantaneous viewing and sharing of information, ensuring the authenticity of point-of-trade exchanges across the entire supply chain.

Icon list image sustainability claims

Aligned with EU Regulations

FSC Trace will be fully aligned with upcoming and existing regulations in the EU region, ensuring compliance with evolving standards. By adopting our blockchain solution, organizations can proactively prepare to meet regulatory requirements, fostering a trustworthy and compliant supply chain environment.

icon hierarchy

Integration with FSC Tools

FSC Trace will be fully integrated with other forthcoming FSC tools, including the FSC Risk Hub, FSC Risk Assessment Framework, Earth Observation Tools, and FSC Aligned Reporting. This integration enhances the blockchain's capabilities, providing a holistic approach to risk management, environmental monitoring, and due diligence reporting within the FSC ecosystem. Embrace a synergized and efficient solution for robust supply chain management.

Video file

Unlocking Future-Ready Certification: Empower Your Supply Chain with FSC Trace!

In realizing the full potential of FSC Trace, we recognize the crucial role our licence holders and wider group of stakeholders play.

We seek the collaboration and support of our licence holders in onboarding their supply chains onto the blockchain. Joining the platform will be entirely voluntary, offering certificate holders the flexibility to integrate FSC Trace seamlessly into their operations.

The platform is designed to be accessible for companies of all sizes, including those with limited technical resources. It offers user-friendly options for transaction management.

Interoperability is an essential part of FSC Trace (Beta). FSC is actively exploring connecting this system to other digital platforms used by certificate holders, certification bodies and partners. The goal is to ensure full flexibility, allowing participants to choose the digital tools that best meet their needs.

Together, we can shape a future where FSC Trace becomes a cornerstone in elevating the integrity and efficiency of global supply chains.

istock image /Petmal
Mendocino Redwood Company,
FSC Canada

Continuous Development for Enhanced Usability

Our commitment to innovation extends beyond the beta phase. Throughout 2024 and 2025, FSC Trace will receive regular iterative releases to improve the user interface and make new features available. Additional features will be systematically integrated to add further value for FSC licence holders, and ensure tight alignment with new regulatory requirements. 

These ongoing efforts are geared towards  significantly reducing the administrative burden associated with certification and regulatory compliance, making FSC Trace an invaluable tool for streamlined and efficient supply chain management. 

Get started with data readiness today!

Many FSC Licence holders are eager to prepare for FSC Trace, even though the platform has not been released yet. To support this, we have made available data upload templates for bulk data entry.

By exploring these templates now, FSC Licence holders can start identifying the most effective ways in their company to configure products on FSC Trace, identify trading partners, and gather information about purchases, manufacturing, and sales in preparation for FSC Trace.

Download the latest templates
FSC Trace Data Upload Templates v0.4 16-07-2024
ZIP, Size: 2.11MB
Introducing the Bulk Data Upload Template for FSC Trace v0.4
PDF, Size: 402.42KB
Your Selections Download All

How do I get more information?

We know and understand that many are eager to delve into the details of onboarding and the specific requirements and possibilities with using FSC Trace.  

To help provide answers and the detail level needed, we have developed a section of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), which will undergo regular updates as FSC Trace platform prepares for its public release in August 2024. 

If you have additional questions not covered in the FAQ, feel free to reach out directly to us at

General about blockchains

Blockchain basics: What is it? How does it work?

Blockchain, in simple terms, is a secure digital ledger that records transactions across multiple computers in a permissioned network. At FSC, we utilize this technology to enhance the trust and transparency of our global forest certification process.

You can think of blockchain as a non-editable digital logbook, used by FSC to ensure the trustworthiness of our global forest certification process. In this digital logbook, we create a chain of 'blocks,' each containing important information about forest certification and the products that derive from the forest.

Now, imagine this logbook is shared among companies, who trade with each other. Each of these companies has their own copy of the logbook. When they want to add a new forest-based product or update existing information, both trading partners must agree that the information is correct.  

Once both parties agree, the new information gets written into their logbooks, and this information is linked to the previous one, creating a chain. What's unique is that once something is written in this logbook, it cannot be erased. It's like writing in pen instead of a pencil. So, if anyone tries to tamper with the information, everyone in the chain will notice. This not only enhances the security of our certification process but also makes it extremely difficult to tamper with the data once it's on the blockchain.

How can blockchain support integrity in FSC supply chains?

FSC Trace is a private user-managed digital ledger designed to validate materials’ trade compliance across FSC supply chains. We employ a private consortium blockchain, which, unlike public blockchains used in cryptocurrencies, allows for access restrictions and enables participants to control which data they choose to share with whom.In traditional forest supply chains, paper documentation can lead to fraud, simply because it can be difficult to verify and audit. Blockchain enhances compliance and traceability, by replacing paper-based claims with secure technology, where changes will always leave a digital trail, making it much easier to complete robust auditing. 

The platform also helps overcome operational challenges by enabling parties, who may or may not know each other, to track materials right back to their origin. If all parties are on the blockchain and have given consent, it allows information to move through the entire supply chain, while keeping other details and the identity of all trading parties throughout the supply chain private. 

FSC believes that blockchain technology will prove indispensable in helping certificate holders meet the requirements of new regulations such as the European Union Regulation on Deforestation-free Products (EUDR), because it gives certificate holders the ability to securely track and verify the compliance of materials throughout the supply as well as share data on regulatory requirements such as time of harvest and geolocation across a supply chain.  

Are blockchains energy consuming and bad for the environment?

Blockchains can indeed be energy-consuming, especially public ones like Bitcoin, which rely on complex consensus mechanisms. It is these consensus mechanisms, and the incentives offered to participants to support them (the mining of new Bitcoins), that require huge amounts of energy to run.

However, a private consortium blockchain, such as the one we are using, does away with these requirements, meaning that the blockchain is only slightly more energy intensive than a normal database.  At FSC we are committed to sustainable practices and will always make responsible technology choices that consider the environmental and social impacts of our operations

Background about FSC Trace

What problem is FSC Trace designed to address?

FSC Trace is an evolution of our existing systems for ensuring integrity in our certification process. Currently, we must rely on Transaction Verification and subsequent investigations to detect potential systematic fraud. These methods, while effective, can often be used retrospectively, identifying issues after they have occurred and potentially reached consumers. It also involves a complex process with multiple parties to maintain confidentiality in business relationships.

In contrast, FSC Trace improves efficiency and provides timely, verified information, while still protecting the privacy of business interactions. This approach allows for quicker, more proactive responses and enhances our ability to detect and address issues before they escalate, thus protecting the credibility of FSC and our certified organizations.

Does FSC Trace only cover timber and paper materials?

No. FSC Trace provides traceability for all forest-based products that FSC certifies, including timber, paper and Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) like rubber, bamboo or honey.

Who can join FSC Trace?

Once rolled out, FSC Trace will be open to FSC certificate holders who have a FSC certificate or promotional licence agreement.

Can I use FSC Trace for my non-certified products as well?

FSC Trace is designed exclusively for trading products with FSC claims. It cannot be used for non-certified products at this time. (It can be used for FSC Controlled Wood. See below.)

Will FSC Trace be interoperable with other systems?

FSC Trace will become fully integrated with forthcoming FSC tools, including Due Diligence Reporting Systems. We are actively exploring ways to make FSC Trace interoperable with other systems, including through APIs, to allow full flexibility for users to integrate with tools that best fit their needs.   

Our goal is to ensure flexibility for our certificate and licence holders, allowing them to choose the digital tools that best fit their company's setup. We have designed FSC Trace to be interoperable, enabling our licence holders to exchange data and information within and across organisations. 

The primary mechanisms for supporting interoperability will be an Application Programming Interface (API), and the ability to add custom fields, through which you can add external unique identifiers to products and transactions, and thus allow you to reference specific records in other IT systems you choose to use.  

We will update the page with more information on  specific integrations that we build. 

How will FSC ensure compatibility with established data frameworks and structures?

FSC is committed to using industry-standard data frameworks wherever possible. The Blockchain data formats and API will follow the standards set out in the ISEAL Core Metadata Standard, developed in collaboration with the ISEAL Alliance of sustainability labelling schemes

Will FSC Trace replace the traditional paper trail?

Use of FSC Trace is intended to make chain of custody auditing easier for both certificate holders and auditors. Records kept in FSC Trace will in the future be able to replace the current paper trail used by certification bodies during the audit process. Documents  relevant to any point in the supply chain, such as harvest permits, can be digitally attached to transactions recorded in FSC Trace. Certificate holders will have access to dedicated reporting functions designed to provide all relevant data required during an audit.

Does FSC Trace validate invoices with FSC Claims?

FSC Trace itself does not directly validate or request copies of invoices. Instead, it operates on a consensus mechanism where both trading partners must agree on the details of a transaction—product type, volume, species, and invoice number—before a claim is verified. This agreement process acts as an indirect validation of the invoice details, ensuring consistency and accuracy in the data recorded on the blockchain

Will use of FSC Trace be mandatory?

Joining the platform will be entirely voluntary, offering certificate holders the flexibility to integrate FSC Trace seamlessly into their operations. 

If using FSC Trace is voluntary, does it still have value if my entire value chain does not join?

Absolutely, FSC Trace offers significant value even if only your company is participating. It facilitates the verification of your suppliers' certification status, eliminating the need for manual monitoring on Additionally, if you input all your trade data into the blockchain, it will automatically generate species lists, product group lists, and volume summaries. The full potential, especially regarding compliance with regulations like the European Union Regulation on Deforestation-free Products (EUDR), is realized when the entire supply chain participates. This enables the seamless transfer of crucial data such as geolocation and time of harvest throughout the supply chain. 

Can FSC Promotional Licence Holders use FSC Trace?

FSC Promotional Licence Holders (PLHs), who trade with FSC-certified finished and labelled goods without altering them, will be able to use FSC Trace, once it is rolled out for all user groups. 

What is the cost associated with participating in FSC Trace?

The platform is free for FSC certificate holders. Access to the basic functionality is included within the existing fees paid by FSC licence holders. We may add paid premium features in the future. We are also looking into interoperability with other platforms. There may be additional fees to help cover our costs of providing this technology. 


When will I be able to join FSC Trace?

FSC Trace is in beta release until August 2024. In this phase we are collaborating with selected supply chains to test and refine the system. Our focus is to ensure its reliability and effectiveness.

FSC licence holders, who are taking part in the Beta phase, will be able to invite a limited number of their trading partners into the trial. You may therefore be invited by your trading partner to join them as an early adopter and Beta user of FSC Trace. From 2024 Q2, the Beta phase will be expanded to further participants in a priority access scheme. If you would like your organization to be included in that priority access scheme, please register your interest here.

From August 2024 access to FSC Trace will be rolled out to all FSC certificate holders.

Stay informed of progress on the development and rollout plans by joining our reoccurring webinars, which you can sign up to here.

Can FSC Trace users see the whole chain of custody down to the forest and up to the final retailer?

FSC Trace users can view their direct trading partners—customers and suppliers—similar to the current FSC system. However, while direct visibility is limited, the blockchain facilitates the movement of data between trading partners further downstream, subject to the control of the data owner, allowing for enhanced traceability and integrity without compromising confidentiality. 

Will my non-certified customer be able to use FSC Trace to receive claims and data about the products that I, as a certified company, sell to them?

FSC Trace is designed to support and enhance the transparency and integrity of FSC-certified products within the certified supply chain. Currently, FSC Trace is exclusively available to FSC licence holders. Companies who are not FSC licence holders cannot use the blockchain to receive claims and data, and would be dependent on certified suppliers to download and share specific data with them manually on a case-by-case basis.  

FSC Trace Beta Trials

How can I join FSC Trace Beta phase?

At present, FSC certificate holders can join FSC Trace Beta either via direct invitation from FSC or via an invitation from a trading partner, who is part of the Beta phase.  

From 2024 Q2, the Beta phase will be expanded to further participants in a priority access scheme. If you would like your organization to be included in that priority access scheme, please register your interest here.

Interested companies will be evaluated and selected based on ensuring a representative user group during the Beta phase. We will contact you directly on the email indicated in the form, if your company profile matches a user type, we need to pilot with. 


I registered for FSC Trace Beta trials, when can I know if I have been selected successfully or not?

We appreciate your interest in participating in FSC Trace Beta phase.  

Due to the high volume of requests and our current capacity constraints, not all applicants will be contacted immediately. Selections are made with the aim to ensure a representative user group during the Beta phase.  

We will notify you via the email provided in your registration form if your organization matches the user profile we require for this phase of testing. We are expanding our capacity as swiftly as possible and look forward to broader engagement. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

How FSC evaluated the interested companies?

Companies interested in FSC Trace Beta phase are evaluated based on their potential fit with the current state of the Beta phase.  

We aim to onboard new pilot participants who can help us test new functionalities or specific scenarios, ensuring they work as anticipated on FSC Trace. For instance, if we are focusing on multisite certificates, we might invite companies with this setup to participate. Selected companies are then able to invite their trading partners, further enriching the testing environment. 


FSC Trace and regulatory compliance

How does FSC Trace help with regulatory compliance, such as with EUDR?

FSC Trace is designed to assist FSC Licence Holders in complying with regulations like the European Union Due Diligence Regulation (EUDR) in the following ways:

  1. Verification of Suppliers: It enables instant verification of your suppliers' certification status during transactions, ensuring you source from certified, EUDR-conformant sources. .
  2. Verified Traceability: The blockchain provides verifiable information about the products you trade, tracing the product back to the source forest* and harvesting site, as required by EUDR.
  3. Comprehensive Data Collection: It records vital details about raw materials in FSC-certified products, such as geographic origin, harvest time, species, and product groups.
  4. Transmission of Legality Documents: FSC Trace provides a mechanism to attach concession agreements, harvesting licences, export permits, and other documents necessary to demonstrate a product has been sourced legally, with those documents associated directly with the relevant products, and thus available to you and downstream trading partners whenever needed.

Utilizing FSC Trace in combination with tools like the forthcoming FSC Regulatory Module enhances the verification process, enriches data, and connects claims across supply chains. This not only aids in regulatory compliance but also supports sustainable and responsible business practices.

*Provided that the entire supply chain is part of FSC Trace. If links are missing in the supply chain, it will not be possible to get back to time of harvest and geolocation.

How does FSC Trace render all product-related data immutable?

In FSC Trace system, once details of a transaction have been matched (i.e. agreed by both buyer and seller), the transaction is written to the blockchain, and the details become immutable – that is unchangeable without a separate record and notification of the change being made. This approach ensures data integrity, ensuring it cannot later be altered.

Will FSC Trace be interoperable with the EUDR required platform Traces?

At present, the European Commission has not provided any details as to how platforms can be made interoperable with Traces.

However, it is our intention to make FSC Trace interoperable with Traces through the forthcoming FSC Due Diligence Reporting System. We will be monitoring the development of Traces closely and share information here if and when direct interoperability is made possible by the European Commission. 

What data will FSC Trace help me get?

FSC Trace provides users with valuable information related to the provenance of certified forest products. FSC Trace defines various standard data fields which relate to core common concerns within certified supply chains and/or that may be needed for regulatory compliance. Defining these core fields ensures everyone can talk the same language.

In addition, FSC Trace will allow participants to define their own data fields to facilitate sharing of specific data items that are of interest to you.

The core data fields within FSC Trace include:

  1. Species: The blockchain allows you to ascertain the exact species or set of species used in creation of a product.
  2. Product Type: FSC Trace records both the product category according to the FSC classification scheme (link to 40-004A) – this is obligatory, and, optionally, the Harmonized System (HS) code as is used to record international trade around the world and determine customs duties due. Use of HS codes is a mandatory part of compliance with several regulations such as the Lacey Act, EUTR and EUDR.
  3. Volume/Mass/Weight: FSC Trace will allow you to record trades by either volume or mass/weight or both, and to use the units of your choice. If you typically record trades by volume but wish to access European markets, you should include weight as well since that is a requirement of EUDR.
  4. Geolocation: FSC Trace allows forest managers to submit geolocation data on the harvesting block from which products have been sourced. This field is not mandatory, but can be critical for regulatory compliance, e.g. with EUDR.
  5. Time of Harvest: This is a specific requirement of EUDR. FSC Trace allows the entry the start and end dates of harvesting.
  6. Country of Production: Another field relevant for regulatory compliance. This can be separately recorded for each point along the supply chain

FSC Trace does not check uploaded geolocation coordinates for deforestation and degradation. Will we still need to do the deforestation checks manually?

While FSC Trace itself does not perform automatic checks for deforestation and degradation, it's important to remember that such verifications are a fundamental component of the FSC certification process.  

This rigorous assessment is conducted by qualified auditors who evaluate forests on the ground, ensuring compliance with FSC standards aimed at preventing deforestation and degradation. 

Therefore, whille FSC Trace enhances transparency and traceability within the supply chain, the responsibility for verifying adherence to deforestation and degradation standards remains within the established FSC certification audit process. This means you can rely on the integrity of FSC-certified products without the need for manual checks for deforestation and degradation, as these aspects have already been thoroughly assessed by professional auditors as part of the certification process. 

Can users attach documents relevant to a product’s provenance?

FSC Trace will allow users to upload and tag relevant documents, such as social compliance documentation, chemical usage product sheets, harvesting permits, or similar records. Many of these documents will relate to the source forest, but all users along the supply chain have the option of attaching documents.

How will geolocation data become available on FSC Trace?

Collecting geolocation data is the responsibility of the forest manager; there are various technologies and tools available on the market that can assist with this.

In FSC Trace there is a dedicated but optional field for the forest manager to upload this data – specifically on the harvesting block (as required by EUDR) – where it will be checked against the boundaries of the certified forest.

As with all data uploaded to FSC Trace, this geolocation data can be shared with downstream participants, but always at the option of the data owner – in this case the forest manager – who provided the data in the first place.

How does FSC Controlled Wood integrate with FSC Trace for EUDR-compliant supply chains?

FSC Controlled Wood is material from acceptable sources that can be mixed with FSC-certified material in products carrying the FSC Mix label. Typically, this is tracked to the region of origin, not to the precise location and time of harvest as required by EUDR.

Controlled Wood enters FSC-certified supply chains via a Chain of Custody (CoC) Certificate Holder who must implement a Due Diligence System to ensure it meets the definition of Controlled Materials. Such CoC Certificate Holders will play the part of a forest manager in entering forest origin data for Controlled Wood into FSC Trace.

In future releases, use of FSC Trace may be extended to include non-certificate holders who supply FSC Controlled Wood, releasing the CoC certificate holder from entering such forest origin data into FSC Trace.

Can I use FSC Trace without my entire supply chain using it?

You can use FSC Trace even if not every part of your supply chain is on the platform, and the system will provide some immediate value to users in collating and verifying their transaction data. However, maximum value will be obtained when all companies back to the source forest manager are participating. In particular, use of FSC Trace to demonstrate compliance with regulations like EUDR that require traceability back to source will depend upon all your suppliers using FSC Trace to record sales into your supply chain.

See question “How will FSC Trace be interoperable with other systems?" as well for additional relevant information.

Data security & transparency

How is my data secured on FSC Trace?

Your data will be secure on FSC Trace. All data uploaded to FSC Trace will be immediately encrypted using an encryption key unique to your organization.  Users have autonomy to control what data they share, when and with whom. Neither FSC nor certification bodies have access to the data unless specifically invited by the FSC licence holder. 


Who can access my organization's data on FSC Trace?

Your organization's data on FSC Trace is under your complete control and ownership. You decide what information to share and with whom. The system allows you to tailor your data sharing for each of your trading partners. For instance, you might choose to always share certain details, like time of harvest and geographic location, with one partner, while opting for on-request or one-time sharing with others.

It's important to note that FSC itself does not have access to individual company data on the blockchain. We will only be able to view aggregated anonymized data across the entire FSC system.

Can I trust that FSC Trace is online and available when I need it?

The reliability of FSC Trace as a business-critical tool is a priority for us. We are committed to maintaining high avaliability and uptime, ensuring that the platform is available whenever you need it. A dedicated team will oversee the platform's performance and scalability, including a responsive support helpdesk. This setup is designed to grow in tandem with our user base, guaranteeing timely assistance and support for all users worldwide. Our commitment to reliability means you can depend on FSC Trace for your operational needs with confidence. 

Which kinds of data protection does FSC Trace have?

Data security is paramount for FSC Trace . We are commited to obtaining ISO 27000 certification for the platform, underscoring our commitment to the highest international standards for data security and management. This certification, when it is available, will demonstrate that all data on the FSC Trace is protected against unauthorized access, alteration, and disclosure. Our adherence to these standards reflects our dedication to safeguarding the data of all our stakeholders, emphasizing the trustworthiness and security of the FSC Trace. 

Using FSC Trace

What training and support resources are available for FSC Trace?

To assist users with the onboarding process and daily use of FSC Trace, we will provide a comprehensive range of support materials. These resources will be available directly on FSC Trace platform and will include both written guides and video tutorials. To cater to our global user base, these materials will be accessible in multiple languages, ensuring clarity and ease of understanding for everyone.

Additionally, we are committed to offering ongoing support through regular training sessions. Throughout 2024 and 2025, we will host bimonthly information and training sessions. These sessions are designed to help users familiarize themselves with the platform, understand its functionalities, and stay updated with any new features or updates. This blend of resources and live support is part of our commitment to making the transition to and usage of the FSC Trace as smooth and efficient as possible for all our users.

You can sign up for the planned webinars for 2024 here .

How is data validated on FSC Trace?

Trading parties must agree on the following for a transaction to be written to the Blockchain:

  • Who your trading partners are (down to FSC license code)
  • Invoice date
  • Product category
  • Species composition
  • Quantity (either volume or weight)

Once one of the trading parties has uploaded to FSC Trace details of a transaction, all the details will be visible to the other trading party on FSC Trace app, with the exception of Quantity. For a transaction to be matched and written to the Blockchain the second trading party must also enter the quantity. The two figures must be identical within an error margin of ±2%.

Note that it is not necessary to use FSC Trace user interface to match individual transactions. You can use the bulk upload and API channels to upload transaction data: if it matches with data already provided by your counterparty, a match will automatically be made, and the transaction written to FSC Trace.

How does the FSC Trace handle errors in data entry?

Since data on a blockchain is immutable, entered data cannot be deleted once submitted. But of course, mistakes during entering will occur, and therefore it is possible to record corrections to data that has already been entered on FSC Trace.

Similar to how edits are captured in accounting systems, FSC Trace will record the updated information as a new entry which is marked as a correction to the original entry. If the edit is done to a validated transaction, the change will have to be agreed with your trading partner, and the supply chain status will change from “validated” to “unvalidated” with this visible to all downstream trading partners.

How can I upload data to FSC Trace?


There are several methods for uploading data: 

  1. Direct Entry: Individual transactions can be recorded directly via the application website. This method is most appropriate to small companies with only occasional trades, and when first learning how FSC Trace works.
  2. Bulk Uploads: Companies can opt for bulk uploads of spreadsheets, which can cover multiple transactions over a specific period. This method is efficient for managing large volumes of data.
  3. API Integration: Certificate holders can also choose to integrate their internal systems with FSC Trace using an Application Programming Interface (API).

How can FSC Trace support my FSC Chain of Custody Certification?

A key aspect of FSC Trace is its capability to automatically handle various elements of the FSC certification process. This includes the automatic generation of Material Accounting Records and volume summaries.

It will also maintain a list of trading partners and periodically verify their ongoing certification. By automating these tasks, FSC Trace will relieve certificate holders from the need to manage these lists externally, significantly reducing their administrative burden.

Can I use FSC Trace for managing transactions with only some of my products and not all?

You have the flexibility to decide the extent to which you use FSC Trace for managing your products.  

It's entirely possible to use the blockchain for only a selection of your products. This selective usage allows you to tailor the blockchain's benefits to your specific needs, whether for certain product lines, markets, or compliance requirements.  

However, it's important to note that if FSC Trace is not used for all products, the generated volume summaries may not encompass your entire operation, which could impact the comprehensiveness of data available for FSC audits. The choice is yours, offering a scalable solution tailored to your business's unique requirements and strategic goals. 

How does FSC Trace handle transactions involving FSC Controlled Wood?

FSC Controlled Wood, which are forest-based products verified as low risk and permissible in limited volumes within the FSC system, will be fully supported by FSC Trace.

The easiest way to introduce FSC Controlled Wood is to source from forests which are directly certified to the FSC Controlled Wood Standard. These forests will as part of their certification process be able to supply all required information and have been verified by a certification body as low risk.

However, in the FSC system it is also possible to introduce FSC Controlled Wood from forests of low risk, which are not certified. Companies doing this must already implement a Due Diligence System to ensure appropriate controls on these inputs are applied. Such companies will be able to enter relevant data on the sources of their Controlled Wood supplies directly into FSC Trace.

See more under the question How does FSC Controlled Wood integrate with FSC Trace for EUDR-compliant supply chains?

Who can upload geolocation and time of harvest data?

Collecting geolocation data is the responsibility of the forest manager; there are various technologies and tools available on the market that can assist with this.  

In FSC Trace there is a dedicated but optional field for the forest manager to upload this data – specifically on the harvesting block (as required by EUDR). 

As with all data uploaded to FSC Trace, this geolocation data can be shared with downstream participants, but always at the option of the data owner – in this case the forest manager – who provided the data in the first place. 

Are there any checks in place that the recorded places of harvest are correct?

In the initial stages of FSC Trace's deployment, there is no automatic validation for the correctness of the recorded harvest locations. However, plans are in place to introduce functionality in 2024 that will verify uploaded GeoJson files against the certified forest management area. This step ensures that the data provided accurately reflects the scope of the certificate, enhancing the trust and reliability of the information within FSC Trace. 

How does FSC Trace work with the Credit system?

FSC Trace integrates with the FSC Credit system, facilitating detailed tracking and management of forest product transactions.  

Users can navigate through three phases for each product: incoming volume, production process, and sales. This system enables certificate holders to accurately combine volumes for production, creating detailed records of raw material usage (including geolocation and time of harvest if available.).  

For the FSC Credit system, certificate holders will be able to specify inventory usage rules, like first in, first out, to manage production batches effectively, even when the production isn't batch-controlled. This flexibility ensures that the blockchain supports various operational models within the FSC system. (Rule based allocation of inventory will not be available in the initial months of FSC Trace Beta Trials.) 

How does blockchain work if the production isn’t handled in batches?

FSC Trace is designed with flexibility in mind, accommodating various production processes, including those not managed in batches.  

In such scenarios users will be able to use different criteria, e.g. date ranges or first-in-first-out rules, to select the inputs which could have contributed to a set of outputs. This approach aligns with regulatory requirements, such as under EUDR, in which you can specify a super-set of known supply sources from which the actual specific sources are not known for a given product, but where it is known that it contains no forest product contents from sources outside that super-set.   

It is important to note that rule based inventory allocation will not be available as a functionality in the first months of FSC Trace Beta Trials. 

How does FSC Trace handle FSC Reclaimed fibers?

Data on reclaimed materials, defined as previously used resources that are repurposed or recycled, are entered into FSC Trace at the point in the supply chain where they are reincorporated into new products. This capability is exclusive to certificate holders who are authorized to handle reclaimed materials, ensuring that the introduction and subsequent tracking of these materials are conducted by parties with the necessary qualifications and oversight. 

To enhance the transparency and credibility of reclaimed materials within FSC Trace, certificate holders are enabled to upload verifiable documentation that attests to the recycled status of the materials.  

Can FSC Trace handle products with multiple species?

FSC Trace is adept at handling the complexity of products composed of multiple species, a common scenario in the forest products industry. When configuring a product within FSC Trace, certificate holders have the option to specify if a product may include multiple species. 

When forest owners upload geolocation of harvest sites, can they group multiple locations?

In the current iteration of FSC Trace Beta, forest owners are required to upload geolocation data for harvest sites individually using GeoJSON files. This format ensures precise and standardized capture of geographical data but does not currently support the grouping of multiple locations into a single entry. This means that each harvest site must be entered separately, ensuring clarity and specificity in the traceability of forest products. 

However, recognizing the need for greater flexibility and efficiency in managing geolocation data, FSC Trace team plans to enhance the platform's capabilities to include the storage of geolocation data and the ability to group multiple harvest sites. This future feature will enable forest owners to more easily manage and report on the geolocation of their harvest sites, especially when operations cover multiple nearby locations. 

Staying informed about updates and new features in FSC Trace is easy by following our product roadmap, which will be detailed on the upcoming product page for FSC Trace.  

How is geolocation(s) attached to specific products during production?

In FSC Trace, the journey of a product is segmented into three distinct phases: incoming volume, production process, and sales. 

When recording production processes, the input products contributing to a specific batch of outputs are recorded. Data attached to those inputs, including original geolocations and harvesting times, can thus be attached to the output products, maintaining traceability back to the point(s) of origin. 

For FSC Credit system this combination will happen based on rules. (See more under How does FSC Trace work with the Credit system?) 

How does FSC Trace handle invoices with multiple products on one invoice?

FSC Trace is designed to accommodate the complexities of real-world transactions, including invoices that feature multiple products. Recognizing the diversity of products that can be included in a single transaction, the system treats each line on an invoice as a separate transaction item. This ensures detailed traceability and verification for each product, regardless of how they are grouped in financial documents. 

Here's how it functions: 

  • Individual Line Entries: Each line on an invoice is entered into FSC Trace as a separate line item. This can be done through batch uploads using Excel, where each line represents a different product, or through individual entries on the web application. 

  • Flexibility in Product Management: By treating each product line as a separate claim, FSC Trace allows for greater flexibility in managing and tracking products. Products from different invoices or suppliers can be combined or traced individually in the following stages of production or sales. 

  • Enhanced Traceability: This method prevents the aggregation of product data into a single, indistinguishable batch. Instead, it maintains the distinct identity of each product, facilitating precise traceability across your own company and into that of your customers.