FSC & Forests of the World - Honduras
In conjunction with Forests of the World and FSC Honduras, the Soil Association Certification Forestry team has been involved in educational seminars in Honduras to introduce the principles of FSC and COC certification to nearby communities and companies, as well as certifying small businesses such as CORAMEHL, an agroforestry co-operative. In doing this, the acquired knowledge and certification will enable these local businesses to produce timber and timber products that are suitable for sale on the international market, as the scheme helps them comply with international timber import and export laws.
As part of the collaborative work, the SAC Forestry team provided all audit resource capacity and time. Having identified companies to work with, our team was able to conduct the initial audit assessment and certification at zero cost – this is a significant step for these small businesses, as it gave them access to a scheme that has the potential to boost income, as well as improving working practises, resources management, and personnel health and safety, where initial costs would likely have meant that they wouldn’t have been able to afford to do so. The project also offered them the chance to attend an open session where they could meet our local representative (Mauricio Pineda from Costa Rica) and ask questions to better understand the values that we, Forests of the World and FSC Honduras uphold.
Forests of the World (a Danish NGO) offered consultancy services to the participating companies, as well as supporting us in the logistics of the operation - one of their main aims is to promote sustainability by increasing the profitability of locally managed and indigenous forestry, something that both FSC and Soil Association Certification Forestry are working towards. FSC Honduras also offered support in this endeavour in providing international and local travel, and accommodation.
Our hope for the near future is to certify more companies under the agreement with Forests of the World and FSC Honduras - this collaboration between organisations is an excellent example of the Soil Association enabling change through the support and promotion of our core values.
The local companies involved:
- CORAMEHL stands for Cooperativa Regional Agroforestal Federated Timber of Honduras Limitada Les Saluda
- It’s a co-operative made up of local forests and people
- They currently have FSC certified forests, but need to achieve COC certification to be able to sell that timber as certified
- As part of the co-operative, they have set up a small sawmill to add value to their product locally with the aim of accessing higher value international markets for certified timber products
- They take environmental issues very seriously and the wood extracted from these natural forests is done so using low impact methodologies, meaning that it is less invasive and reduces the impact on the forest due to roads etc as it is transported manually
- La Casona Hardwoods
- A timber merchant which sells commercial species such as Honduran Mahogany
- Important in the ‘chain’ part of Chain of Custody
- They buy products from CORAMEHL and are active in commercial export