Fair Trade Timber

Officially there's no such thing. But that won't stop us wanting it. Before any commodity may be traded and labelled as 'Fair Trade' there needs to be an internationally agreed set of conditions under which it is produced, bought and sold. Those standards are in place for coffee, bananas and cotton, but not wood, not yet... Here's some of the work in progress.
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  • Exploring fair trade timber - IIED
    This is a project of the UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development. Their description below, a wide range of research reports available for download.

    Communities now own or manage one fourth of the forests in developing countries. Certification, eco-labelling and social auditing have all been set up to improve the forest sector. High hopes for forest livelihoods and poverty reduction have surrounded their use but each has had its limitations. Fair trade has done much to help community enterprises – but mainly in agriculture, not forestry. It is now time to examine the demand and potential of a mechanism, such as fair trade, that can both empower and distinguish community forest products in the market place – opening up new market niches through which ethical consumers can channel their purchasing power.
  • Dual Certification for Fair Trade and FSC Timber
    The work already done to explore the potential value and mechanics of Fair Trade timber has led to a co-operative project by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to model a system of dual certification, combining FSC and Fair Trade standards and seals of approval. Click the heading for a link to the FSC site...
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