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FSC Forest Management Pesticides Policy

FSC Forest Management Pesticides Policy

Certificate holders in FSC Forest Management (FM) should be aware of the new FSC Pesticides Policy FSC-POL-30-001 V3-0 that came into force on Thursday 1st August 2019

FSC recently published the full list of existing approved derogations and their conditions will remain valid until their expiry date or until national highly hazardous pesticide (HHP) indicators become effective and replace the derogations. This is with the exception of FSC prohibited HHPs, when existing approved derogations and their conditions remain valid - this list of FSC Forest Management interpretations gives a bit more detail. 

View the list of FSC Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHP) – known as FSC-POL-30-001a.

The revised FSC pesticides policy requires that conditions from the most recent derogation approved in the country for a chemical pesticide (if there is one) are incorporated to the Environmental and Social Risk Assessments (ESRA). Please see INT-POL-30-001_07 in on the FSC Document Centre. You can access the most recent full list of derogations on the FSC website.

All forest management certificate holders who use pesticides should adapt their management systems, and either use the template offered by FSC for the ESRA process, or liaise with any national initiatives that may be drawing up ESRA responses for industry to adopt in particular countries.

We published a technical update on the policy change in July 2019, which was sent to all certificate holders; however, as this is a complex area, the Technical Team at Soil Association Forestry are happy to clarify any normative standard requirements as best we can. Our current stance on auditing against the new policy is that we'll raise either observations or minor non-conformances during the transition phase. Certificate holders should note they will need to comply fully from August 1st 2020.