Great progress with PEFC certification of New Zealand forest practices

Jul 21, 2017

It is time to celebrate in New Zealand as the first forests in the country achieve PEFC certification. Over 400,000 hectares of forest – about 20% of New Zealand’s plantation forest estate – are now PEFC-certified!
“It is really encouraging to see forest managers adopting PEFC on such a scale, so soon after we were able to bring it to New Zealand,” said NZFCA Chair, Dr. Andrew McEwen.
“The New Zealand forest and wood products sector relies heavily on exports with around 70% of production being exported. Increasingly their main markets, particularly Australia, North America and Asia, are demanding third party certification as proof of legality of harvest and quality of forest management.”
“Most of the countries New Zealand exports to are now PEFC members and recognize PEFC certification as meeting their import requirements.”
The three forestry companies to achieve PEFC certification are RMS Forests Ltd., (the former Wellington Regional Council forests), Hancock Forest Management NZ Ltd., and Timberlands Ltd.
Two more forest management companies are in the process to be certified.
In addition, 27 companies involved in forest products processing and other supply chain activities are PEFC Chain of Custody certified.
This is providing opportunities for New Zealand forest produce to participate in export markets that demand PEFC certification as a way of demonstrating legal and sustainable forest management.

Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International welcomed this move in New Zealand saying, “It is fantastic to see the first forest area in New Zealand achieve PEFC certification. The certification of these plantation forests will enable processors and others along the forest products supply chain to procure PEFC-certified material from local, sustainably managed sources.”

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