“It is fantastic to see the continued commitment and enthusiasm for PEFC and sustainable forest management in Finland, after 16 years of endorsement,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, following his visit to Finland in February.
Finland was one of the first countries to achieve endorsement of its national forest certification system back in 2000, and today most of Finland’s forests are PEFC-certified. Recognizing the scale of Finnish forest sector, Ben and Fabienne Sinclair, responsible for marketing, travelled out to meet with the country’s numerous stakeholders.
“This visit was an excellent opportunity for us to get an update, and I am very pleased with the strong progress that PEFC is making,” said Antti Sahi, Secretary General of MTK, which represents farmers, forest owners and rural entrepreneurs in Finland.
“This progress is important for all our members, private forest owners, who are PEFC-certified, and we appreciate the growth and communications efforts activated at local and international level,” Mr. Sahi concluded.
Over his three days in Finland, Ben met with some of the leaders in the Finnish forest sector, including the Finnish Sawmills Association, the Finnish Forest Industries Federation, various companies, the state and private forest owners associations and the Finnish Forest Foundation.
“Meeting with so many different stakeholders, from forest owners to industry and forestry associations, it is clear to see that there is a wealth of experience in forest certification and sustainable forest management in the country,” Mr. Gunneberg continued.
“We pride ourselves on keeping an open dialogue with all our partners, enabling us to gain first hand feedback from people on the ground who promote certification and in particular PEFC. We hope to use and build on this experience as we begin the task of revising our core Sustainability Benchmarks over the next two years, helping us to make PEFC even stronger.”