Recently made further progress during their second in-person meeting where they discussed different aspects of FSC initiatives to be integrated in the revised group standard.

The working group spent some time analyzing how other ongoing initiatives at FSC could impact and be integrated into the group standard, such as:

- forestry contractors, and how they could be incorporated into group schemes;
- continuous improvement framework, and how it can be implemented by group members;
- how best to support communities in group schemes.

In addition to these points, the working group also discussed when non-conformities can lead to a suspension at group level; which chain of custody requirements need to be included in the group standard; how impacts on ecosystem services can be demonstrated by some or all members of a group scheme; and different alternatives to simplify and make the current sampling methodology for monitoring more accurate, for instance by taking into consideration whether forest operations have taken place in the management unit or not.

The meeting followed an in-person meeting in Sweden earlier this year.

During its meeting in Portugal last June, the working group also had the chance to meet the New Approaches project team and some Portuguese stakeholders, which allowed for useful exchange of information, and contributed to keeping all parties updated on the revision.

Since the meeting in June, the working group has focused on adding the results of these discussions into the first draft of the group standard, which is planned to be available for consultation in October this year.

For questions about the group standard revision process, please contact Joachim Meier-Dörnberg, FSC Social Policy Manager, at j.meier-doernberg@fsc.org, or Rosario Galán, FSC New Approaches Manager, at r.galan@fsc.org.