FSC Kicks Off ‘Scheduled Service’ on its Australian Standard

New standard is scheduled to be published mid-2025.

Thu 14 Mar 24


FSC commenced revising its Australian Standard (known as the FSC National Forest Stewardship Standard of Australia, or the NFSS) after it was granted formal approval in late January.

According to Melanie Robertson, FSC’s Australia and New Zealand CEO, the Standard is “booked for a scheduled service,” ensuring that it can support best-practice forest management across all types of forestry in Australia – “by incorporating scientific insights and the latest knowledge.”

“There is a raft of (new) changes introduced by FSC International that will be incorporated into the revised Standard regarding workers’ rights and pesticide use, amongst other topics,” Ms Robertson said.

The Australian NFSS, dubbed the “gold standard”, was last updated in 2018 with “the FSC ANZ Board has determined that the revised Standard must better support responsible forest management in the face of a changing climate and what is expected to be more frequent and severe bushfires.”

The new Standard, expected to be released in mid-2025, will undergo two rounds of public consultation—the first expected later this year—and forest testing.

Wood Central can now reveal the make-up of the Standard Reference Committee, approved by FSC International:

Economic chamber
  • Carl Richardson, Australian Bluegum Plantations
  • Simon Cook, Forico
  • Tim McBride, HVP
Environmental chamber
  • Associate Professor Grant Wardell-Johnson, individual member
  • Patrick Gardner, The Wilderness Society
  • Sean Cadman, individual member
Social chamber
  • Lorraine Cassin, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (This position is now a vacancy, and FSC ANZ soon be taking EOIs to fill the position)
  • Professor Mark Brown, Forestry Australia
  • Tolita Dolzan, Individual member

The revision process was facilitated by FSC’s ANZ Policy and Standards Manager, Stefan Jensen – for more information about the standard development process, visit the FSC ANZ website.

According to Ms Roberston, “this group of experts in their field, with equal representation from economic, environmental and social stakeholders, now serves as the construction site for new and revised requirements.”

“It’s a testament to the enduring strength of the FSC brand in Australia; we have assembled a Standards Development Group with an incredible breadth of knowledge and experience, representing most facets of forestry in the country,” she said, adding that “the revision could not be in better hands.” 

The establishment of the new Australian Standard comes at a time when private forest certification (including FSC) provides a vital insurance policy ahead of the release of the EUDR later this year.

On Tuesday, Wood Central revealed that crucial parts of the new legislation – which will see companies held legally responsible for deforested products – will be delayed after backlash from Asian, African and Latin American countries which claimed that the new rules were “burdensome, unfair and scare off investors.”

FSC is working with its supply chain to meet all aspects of EUDR and other relevant forestry legislation in Europe and worldwide. It is now developing new technologies to help companies meet EUDR requirements. 

Visit FSC International’s dedicated EUDR website for more information about how it works to “meet EUDR legality, sustainability and due diligence obligations.”


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