In early July 2017, Kim Carstensen approved the revision process for the standard when a review found that short-term improvements could be made while preparing for a full revision of the standard in 2018.

“There are some things we can already do now to help simplify and clarify the standard,” says coordinator Joachim Meier-Dörnberg. “Our primary objective is to make the standard clearer for all parties that it impacts. Thus, we have made minor changes to the content which might have a big impact on how the standard is implemented and we expect to get more input from our stakeholders in 2018.”

The minor revisions include changes to terms and definitions, and to some of the requirements. This is the first of two standards that have been identified and scheduled for review between 2017 and 2020 by the New Approaches project team, which is entrusted to carry out the activities related to smallholders set out in the FSC Global Strategy 2015–2020.

As a whole, and within the context of the FSC normative framework, the New Approaches project aims to:

A separate team is taking a detailed look at the FSC portfolio of normative documents to ensure that there are no inconsistencies.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the group certification standard revision process, please contact Joachim Meier-Dörnberg at For questions regarding the smallholder implementation project team’s activities in relation to the normative framework, please contact team lead, Vera Santos at

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