Potential risks identified in bamboo supply chains

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July 4, 2023
Category : General news

In June 2022, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Assurance Services International (ASI) launched the third transaction verification (TV) loop on bamboo supply chains to proactively find out if there are any integrity risks that need to be addressed.

The preliminary results of this TV loop show that there are potential volume mismatches that could be indicative of false claims in the bamboo supply chains.

FSC and ASI have been monitoring FSC-certified bamboo supply chains due to integrity risks identified in the past. The preceding two TV loops on bamboo had shown high levels of volume mismatches and false claims.

For the third TV loop on FSC-certified bamboo, ASI collected transaction data for the period of July 2021 to December 2021 from 425 certificate holders who have the following products in their certification scope: natural bamboo, veneer, plywood and flooring products made from Moso Bamboo (Genus Phyllostachys). The TV loop included forest management and chain of custody certificate holders, and it traces the trading patterns and volumes all through the supply chain.

The findings from the first phase of the TV loop reveal the following:

  • FSC-certified bamboo is harvested primarily from China; the number of active forest management certificate holders with FSC Bamboo sales during the TV period has increased from the previous TV loops. The majority of these forest management units are located in the Fujian Province and Zhejiang Province.
  • FSC-certified bamboo products are mainly processed and manufactured in China and in a couple of European countries. Most of the finished products in these supply chains are sold in European and North American markets.
  • Potential volume mismatches were detected through data analysis, indicating that non-certified bamboo may have entered certified supply chains.

Based on the above-mentioned findings, ASI has identified a number of potentially high-risk supply chain clusters for further investigation in the second phase of the TV loop. Based on the results of these investigations and ASI’s recommendations FSC will take action against certificate holders who are making false FSC claims which are not eligible to be declared, labelled, and/or promoted as FSC products.

To read more about false claims, click here.

For more information about the scope and rationale behind this TV loop, read this news announcement.

In the past, FSC has conducted two TV loops on FSC-certified bamboo. To read more about these TV loops, click here.