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Soil Association Certification appoints new Director of Forestry

Soil Association Certification appoints new Director of Forestry

Soil Association Certification has appointed Meriel Robson to replace Kevin Jones as its new Director of Forestry and she will take up the post on 1 September 2022.

Kevin Jones is retiring after twenty-five years at the helm of Soil Association Certification’s forestry business. Kevin first started working with Soil Association Certification in 1996 and under his leadership the certification body’s forestry division has grown from a few staff to a team of over 50 with an international network of partners and auditors, as well as providing capacity building and training worldwide.

Soil Association Certification’s CEO Dominic Robinson said: “Kevin’s contribution to the growth, successes and spirit of the team can’t be valued highly enough. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kevin for all his work over the many years in creating what is an exceptional team delivering a global impact.”

Headshot of Meriel Robson wearing a blazer against a green wall.

Meriel Robson joined Soil Association Certification in 2010 as Senior Technical Manager, and brings a wealth of experience in the forest management and forest products sectors. She has been instrumental in the accreditation and delivery of its core schemes (FSC® & PEFC) and accreditation to new schemes, as well as ensuring Soil Association Certification’s global network of staff, auditors and agents are supported to deliver certification services with integrity.

Under her leadership the team established a successful training unit which now operates worldwide. She joined the Board of Trustees for the Forest Stewardship Council (UK) in 2009 and chaired the Board from 2011 -2016. Meriel has a degree in Forest Management, and a Joint Honours MA in Russian and French Language and Literature.

Dominic said: “Meriel’s strength of technical knowledge stood out from a strong field of candidates. Her depth of understanding of our international work and external relationships, as well as her experience of corporate governance and non-executive board experience, puts her in a great position to lead this part of the business.”

“As our new Director of Forestry Meriel will lead a well-established and growing certification business, as well as develop and innovate in the growing climate, ecosystem services and forest risk commodity sectors. I am delighted we have the right person for the job.”

Soil Association Certification certifies over 26 million hectares of forest worldwide, with over 4,000 Forest Management and Chain of Custody certificates in over 60 countries under the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) schemes.

Soil Association Certification Forestry has seen a significant amount of growth in recent years, with certificate numbers doubling since 2016. The team is also leading the way in the rapidly growing carbon sequestration and avoided emissions sector, currently offering validation and verification to two schemes in the UK dedicated to the responsible and transparent monitoring of carbon sequestration - the Woodland Carbon Code and the Peatland Code.

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