© FSC in PolandSince 2017, the main focus of FSC in Poland has been coordinating the revision of the National Forest Stewardship Standard for Poland (NFSS). After one year of intense work for the Standard Development Group, the first draft of the NFSS was prepared and is now open for public consultation until 5 March.
“We hope that the final NFSS will be delivered in the same time: in line with FSC requirements, adapted to local conditions and widely accepted by different stakeholder groups,” says Karolina Tymorek, Project Coordinator for FSC in Poland.
With almost 7 million hectares of FSC-certified forests (around 75% of all forests in Poland), Poland is one of the leading countries for sourcing FSC-certified roundwood. It is also one of the top 10 producers of furniture in the world, with factories for companies including IKEA. It is therefore extremely important to have a revised forestry standard in place that is aligned to the current FSC Principles and Criteria.
In order to raise public awareness of the FSC labels, representatives of FSC in Poland have been working closely with retailers including Castorama, Carrefour and MAKRO to support their communications about the growing range of FSC-certified products they offer. One of the priorities for 2019 is to help retailers better understand that procuring FSC-certified products may help in addressing many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and thus help fulfil their CSR policy objectives.
© FSC in PolandThe global FSC Friday event on 28 September 2018 also helped raise awareness of FSC in Poland, as Karolina explains:
“In 2018, we engaged 50 companies (retailers, certificate holders, certification bodies) to celebrate FSC Friday with us. We provided promotional materials that were used during events that participants organised: FSC training for employees, informative actions within companies, news and radio interviews. Home improvement retailer Castorama Polska, one of our FSC licence holders, celebrated FSC Friday over 2 weeks – not only within the company but also in their local stores, with a special contest for customers and over 3000 communication materials displayed in stores.”
FSC in Poland also tries to help stakeholders better understand the FSC system. This means not only responding to enquiries but also providing Polish translations of all crucial FSC documents. With a growing number of FSC Chain of Custody certificates in Poland (1863, as of 12 February 2019), providing such services is essential.
Karolina reveals further plans to bolster the services offered to certificate holders by FSC in Poland: “We would like to provide a Polish version of online training for Chain of Custody certificate holders in the near future to make it easier for them to introduce all FSC requirements in their companies”.
Recently, FSC in Poland has been working closely with FSC’s Supply Chain Integrity Team in order to ensure the integrity of the charcoal supply chain. As Poland is an important supplier of charcoal products to other European countries, including the UK, this work is crucial and it will be one of the priorities for 2019 for the Polish team. One of the main tasks will be to collect samples of charcoal for fibre testing in order to identify any non-conforming products.
The FSC Poland office is based in Warsaw and is made up of 2 full time staff.
If you would like to know more about FSC in Poland, please visit www.fsc.pl
This article was included in the January/February 2019 edition of Forest Matters.