Rainforest Alliance Statement on Resolute Forest Products
May 23, 2014 | 9:45 am CDT

On May 6, 2014, Resolute Forest Products Canada Inc. issued a Notice of Action in Ontario against the Rainforest Alliance in connection with Resolute’s Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificates for the Caribou and Black Spruce Dog River-Matawin Forests. The next day, Resolute sought and obtained a court order prohibiting us from releasing or discussing the contents of our most recent audit reports in connection with these certificates. This injunction was granted on extremely short notice and in the absence of Rainforest Alliance or our legal counsel. The Rainforest Alliance has never before been sued by an FSC certificate holder. We are disappointed that Resolute has resorted to these measures.

Effective January 2014, the Rainforest Alliance suspended three of Resolute’s FSC certificates, including Black Spruce Dog River-Matawin Forests. Whenever we conduct an audit of an FSC certificate holder’s operations, we adhere strictly to FSC rules. Certification is based upon demonstrated conformance with FSC Principles and Criteria through audits against adapted national standards. When we identify a certificate holder’s failure to meet certification criteria and indicators, we are required to issue non-conformances. When the certificate holder does not address the non-conformances within the time period established by FSC, we are required to suspend the certificate. We may not lift a suspension unless and until the certificate holder has demonstrated to us that it has taken the necessary corrective actions.

The Rainforest Alliance is the world’s leading FSC forest management certifier, with more than 20 years of certification experience. An international organization, we work in over 100 countries and in all forest types with small businesses, large companies, indigenous communities and governments. The Rainforest Alliance is an independent, nonprofit organization accredited for FSC auditing and certification through our RA-Cert division, offering independent auditing, certification and promotion of FSC-certified forest products with the aim of improving forest management by providing economic incentives to businesses that practice responsible forestry.

Source: Rainforest Alliance

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