FSC-US NRA: another draft

It has become a bit tedious, and more than a little embarrassing, to follow the long, long, long path that FSC-US continues to follow in its quest to finalize a National Risk Assessment for the United States.  The community received another update late last night, and we feel duty-bound to share it with our readers.

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Some Lessons from a Burger Box

In our New Year’s post, we used a photo of a hamburger container collected recently from a nearby MacDonald’s restaurant.  Our point was simply to demonstrate the continuing relevant of certified products in the commodity marketplace – and by extension the ongoing relevance of the FSC, SFI and PEFC brands.  MacDonald’s buys a lot of burger boxes, so the fact that they have FSC labels on them is – by definition – a pretty big deal.

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Reflections on The New Year

It is both traditional and healthy to take advantage of this quiet time of the year to do a bit of reflection.   2018 was an active and interesting year for us and also for many of our clients.  We can say the same for the programs we follow so closely.  FSC and SFI continue to grow and thrive – sometimes in spite of their best efforts at self-destruction.  We’ll have more to say soon on that subject.  For now, however, we would like to share a handful of general observations and reflections; make a few timid predictions for the coming year; and offer some promises of our own for the coming months.

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‘User’s Guide’ for FSC-US Nat’l Risk Assessment

The US affiliate of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC-US) released the latest version of its Controlled Wood National Risk Assessment (NRA) for the United States just before the Christmas holidays, we wasted no time in calling attention to it with our brief posting on December 16.  This document is very important to the whole FSC program, for reasons that we have discussed at length before, and surely will again.  As is typical with FSC, the NRA document had been in the works for a very long time:  over 5 years!  And its consequence has been increased by the ongoing mayhem associated with the Controlled Wood program this year.

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Risk Assessment in a River Valley

When FSC Canada released the discussion draft of their National Risk Assessment early last month, we were eager to look at the details and begin considering the impact it may have on the business of certified wood products here in North America.  While the MixedWood blog is written from a clearly American point of view, we maintain a keen interest in our neighbors to the north.


The release of FSC’s official Risk Assessments for North America (US and Canada) have long promised to have significant repercussions on the business of producing and sourcing certified wood products.  And when we say “long promised” we also mean “long overdue” as they have been anticipated for several years and their delay has – and is – causing far too much disruption and confusion in the community.

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FSC-Canada: Nat’l Risk Assessment Draft

The writing in this space continues to be dominated by the long, painful process of re-inventing the FSC’s Controlled Wood program.  The long, painful story continues and remains critical to the success of the entire certified wood marketplace.  So we continue to follow it closely.

Our recent writing has focused on the release of a discussion draft by FSC-US – intended to be the last public look at their important National Risk Assessment (NRA) which is likely to be finalized sometime later this year.  We hope you joined us in providing FSC-US with your comments.  The official comment period for that document ended last week – following the very next day with a similar release from FSC-Canada.  We are still analyzing the details of this work, but want to call your attention to it here, and share a few initial observations.

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US-NRA: Focusing on Control Measures

The US affiliate of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC-US) recently released a discussion draft of a very important National Risk Assessment (US-NRA).  We consider this a very important document – the result of over 5 years of work – and likely to have a significant influence on certified wood markets throughout North America and indeed the world.

As is their practice, FSC-US has posted the US-NRA publicly and is inviting comment from all interested stakeholders.  This should include everyone who buys, sells, and trades wood and paper products in the US and Canada.  FSC needs to hear from us.  Please help spread the word.

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Some housekeeping

Our last post – published just yesterday – included several links to the FSC Document Center which readers may have found confusing.  We discovered, after posting, that the version of the Controlled Wood Interpretations Document available in the Document Center was not the most current version and (importantly) did not include the specific Interpretation that we were discussing and criticizing .

The post has since been corrected and updated (click here to read).

Thanks, as always, for your attention and feedback.  Please share and comment.

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