Small growers achieve certification

The above image depicts the five small timber growers who participated in the Sappi Khulisa programme

PEFC CERTIFIED Five small timber growers in KwaZulu-Natal are the first to participate in the Sappi Khulisa programme and achieve certification through the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification for small growers

Photo by Sappi

29th March 2024


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Five small timber growers in KwaZulu-Natal, in December, became the first participants to achieve forest certification through the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Sappi Group Scheme for small growers.

The growers were part of Sappi’s Khulisa programme.

The five timber growers, with a total 8 143 ha of timber area, have been successfully audited and awarded a PEFC Group Scheme certificate.

The recipients of this significant award and founding members of the Sappi PEFC Group Scheme are the iMfume Cluster, consisting of more than 20 individual small growers from the Mfume district near Scottburgh; Sobengwe Trading from Ixopo; MG Farming from Richmond; and Mclean M and Braecroft Timbers, both from Underberg.

This comes after years of intensive efforts by Sappi, working in collaboration with other players in the forestry industry to address the barriers to entry for small growers seeking to achieve certification. This international certification provides the crucial assurance to end-use consumers.

In 2021, Sappi announced that it had achieved the first PEFC endorsed Sustainable African Forest Assurance Scheme certification in South Africa, having begun the process in 2015.

The journey entailed the participation in the development of a Forest Management Standard for South Africa, the development of mechanisms to support certification requirements, and, in 2018, the endorsement of the standard and certification procedures.

A certification tool had been developed by the team to assess plantations, based on several factors including environmental, social and economic conditions specific to South Africa.

“After years of collaboration and dedicated commitment to developing a forest certification standard for South Africa, this achievement marks a historical moment in our long journey to support and make forest certifica- tion more accessible to the small landowners that participate in our supplier programmes,” Sappi Forests VP Duane Roothman comments.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor



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