Timbergreen and FSC 2003 page 3
Forest Management is a BUSINESS!!
If you continue to work with non-profit environmental organizations - that is exactly what you will get - NON PROFIT! Quit chasing the freebies and focus on sales - work on local sales - sell wood - SALES is the key!! (Did I mention that selling your wood is important?)
Direct sales to local customers is how you make this work - not with grants!
High quality product is essential to repeat business and sustainability also.
Some coop members have told me "We need certification, we need to be different to sell our wood." Forest owners - you need excellent loggers and value-added sales. Good wood sells itself whether it is certified or not. Certification has only been proposed as possible icing on the cake.... well the cake is the important part anyway. Stick with value-added processing and direct marketing in the local area and everything will work fine! Selling locally first is essential to community based forestry - not global marketing of wholesale certified commodities.
Think About It!
FSC was originally described as a market driven approach. How can non-profit organizations funded by grants administer a market driven system? Most workers have little business experience, let alone real forestry experience.
They don't understand forest owners, the timber business, or the market. The good people move on and personnel changes are frequent making continuity and sustainability difficult.
There has been positive change
On the positive side, our work to promote FSC did rock the boat and shake the tree and hasten change for better forestry here in Wisconsin. I never cared whether I made a penny off of it, so we have accomplished a lot of good things along the way. No regrets, just more lessons.
It is a great idea though
Aldo Leopold described eco-labeling of lumber as a way for consumers to encourage better forest management. " If exploitation-lumber and forestry-lumber were each labeled as such, would we prefer to buy the conservation product? "
The Round River 1948
It is a great idea!
Dave Brynn told me years ago that local brand recognition was more important than global certification. He is so right!
Steve Neta told me that he had his own local certification system - word of mouth in the community. He is so right!