Are retail stores that are not FSC-certified able to sell a milled/finished product and still allow the product to retain the FSC label?
There are new resources for those interested in the Forest Stewardship Council chain of custody. They are explained here.
Penny Bonda -- Interior Design, 5/27/2008 12:00:00 AM
This question and ones like it keep popping up. Obviously many find Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain of custody (CoC) issues baffling. In a prior Ask Penny column I briefly described FSC certification including CoC requirements and included links to several resources. Since that time, there are new resources available that may be helpful.
The most comprehensive is the FSC Chain of Custody guide (pdf). FSC is criticized because it is a confusing standard requiring users to distinguish between product groups, pure and mixed materials, reclaimed and controlled wood. All are clearly defined and graphically illustrated in the guide with easy to understand examples, including an explanation of the three FSC product labels: FSC Pure, FSC Recycled and FSC Mixed. These definitions will help you understand the difference between milled or finished woods and raw lumber, which for CoC purposes is not as pertinent as sourcing information.
As for your other specific question, those who sell FSC products to end consumers usually do not need to become certified. Remember, the FSC label is the link between responsible production and consumption. CoC makes it possible to track materials and products through the production chain and enable the consumer to feel confident that the product came from environmentally sound sources.