PEFC Gets Juicy as Mango Producers Embrace Certification

Agroforestry giant Plantations International becomes the first Mango producer to achieve PEFC certification in Asia

Thu 21 Dec 23


Forest products come in all shapes and sizes, and with a heightened awareness of the risks of land degradation, global producers are investing in due diligence to de-risk global supply chains.

That is why Plantations International’s decision to commit to PEFC certification for mango plantations is essential in developing a more sustainable agroforestry industry worldwide.

According to Gareth Cookson, the COO of Plantations International, the company is “incredibly proud to be the first mango grower in Asia to become PEFC certified.”

The newly certified plantation is just 2 hours north of Bangkok in the Lao Khwan district of Kanchanaburi – a place made famous by the 1957 movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”

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Plantations International’s 100-acre plantation is based 2 hours north of Bangkok in the Lao Khwan district in Kanchanaburi. A place made famous by the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai” in 1957 starring William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, and Sessue Hayakawa. (Photo Credit: Plantations International)

“This achievement underscores our unwavering commitment to sustainable practices,” Mr Cookson said, “and demonstrates our leadership in sustainable agriculture practices.” 

Private Forest certification, which makes up 13% of the global wood and fibre supply, is crucial in driving the trade of legal and sustainable timbers into international markets – and if used correctly, it can be instrumental in stemming the tide of conflict and illegal timbers entering global supply chains from Russia, Central Africa, Latin America, and Oceanic regions.

However, PEFC and FSC – the two largest private certification schemes, are broadening their remit beyond just timber products and are now turning their attention to mushrooms, iberico ham, berries, honey, and even beer.

Expanding certification beyond wood-based products has been a critical growth area for both schemes, increasing the value of forests by building consumer trust and creating additional demand for forest products.

With the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) entering into application on 30 December 2024, supply chain actors are doing their utmost to be ready to comply with the requirements of the regulation. However, time is running out fast, and many practical implementation questions and legal uncertainties await clarification – footage courtesy of @Euractiv.

Moreover, certification is becoming a prerequisite for doing business in global markets, with certified materials becoming an “insurance policy” for global companies navigating changing market conditions like the EUDR, with FSC and PEFC playing a pivotal role in ensuring that producers are “EUDR-Ready.”

As for what’s next, Mr Cookson said Plantations International will now push for chain-of-custody certification, allowing mangoes with PEFC-certified labels to be sold into global markets.

Beyond mangos, Plantations International has been instrumental in driving global investment in bamboo through Indonesia, Colombia, Kenya and Brazil.

In July, Wood Central reported that the company had invested significantly in developing bamboo for various purposes. 

These include uses in fibre, biomass, pulp, food, charcoal, and engineered construction boards. 

Additional applications include biochar, activated carbon, paper, luxury fabrics, tissue paper, flooring, kitchen and home appliances, bicycles, and even luggage.


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