Earlier this week, PEFC held its Annual General Meeting in London with a cross section of PEFC’s diverse membership attending to hear Chairman Peter Latham present the organisation’s Annual Report.
As the tenth anniversary of PEFC’s establishment approaches, he reflected how far the organisation has come and how much it has achieved. Since its inception in 1999 as the Pan European Forest Certification scheme, membership has grown from the original eleven founding European countries to become a truly global scheme encompassing thirty four countries on six continents; with the Netherlands and Ireland joining the PEFC family in 2008, followed most recently by Malaysia and Gabon.
As a result, PEFC now endorses twenty eight national certification schemes across the globe. The 220 million certified hectares managed by these member schemes are now delivering millions of tonnes of certified material into the global marketplace to meet the ever increasing demand for certified wood products. At present, the global tally of chain of custody certificates is fast approaching 5,000 and over 30,000 logo licences have so far been issued.
The UK has played a huge part in this success story. In February this year PEFC UK reached the milestone 1,000 chain of custody mark – 20% of the global total. There has been a corresponding growth in demand for the use of the PEFC logo with over 800 licences now being issued to UK companies, with demand for chain of custody remaining buoyant despite the challenging economic climate, particularly from the print and paper sector. 450 print companies now have PEFC chain of custody certification and account for one third of all chain of custody certificates in the UK. Together, the print, paper and publishing sectors account for more over half of PEFC chain of custody certificates in the UK and almost two thirds of the UK’s top twenty print management companies now have PEFC chain of custody certification.
To mark another successful year for PEFC in the UK, the Annual General Meeting was followed by a reception aboard the S. B. Lady Daphne, one of the most famous of London’s classic wooden vessels still sailing which proved to be a popular choice of venue for timber enthusiasts.
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