This decision was taken by FSC’s International Board of Directors after additional information about possible violation of timber measurement standards, which will require further Policy for Association investigation to determine scope and impact, was brought to the board’s attention. FSC considers that initiating an additional investigation is not compatible with maintaining the probation status of the company.

The board also considered that these allegations, if confirmed, could carry an increased risk that products not complying with FSC standards and policies might be traded through supply chains under a prolonged probation status, a situation that is considered unacceptable for the organization.

The Schweighofer Group has informed FSC that it accepts the decision and recognizes it as an effective signal to meet stakeholder expectations and encourage their engagement and has consequently decided to terminate its certificates with immediate effect as a way of demonstrating its acceptance and commitment to the FSC Policy for Association.

FSC recognizes Schweighofer’s efforts during the past three months to develop a preliminary plan of corrective action and encourages it to use this work to continue discussions and to develop a roadmap to end the disassociation. Depending on the outcome of Schweighofer’s progress, the Board of Directors could consider a gradual approach to re-association for the group’s mills outside of Romania.

“FSC will begin to build a permanent presence in Romania to effectively engage with its members and stakeholders to secure the right mechanisms, such as the establishment of a dedicated solutions forum, to identify long term solutions to the challenges of responsible forest management in the country. To this effect it will engage in a constructive dialogue with the Schweighofer Group and all relevant stakeholders in the country,” says Kim Carstensen, FSC Director General.