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FSC abandons mediation idea, will reconsider Resolute’s membership


February 10, 2016
By Cindy Macdonald


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Citing unwillingness on the part of Resolute Forest Products to be involved in mediation efforts to resolve its suspended Canadian FSC certificates, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) announced that it has abandoned its efforts to engage Resolute in a mediation process.

In November 2015, FSC proposed a mediation process to Resolute to help the reinstatement of its suspended FSC certificates in Canada.

“During a meeting with Resolute’s CEO, there were no signs that Resolute is willing to engage in efforts to resolve the problems they pointed out so eloquently. This confirms the consistent, negative signals we are receiving from Resolute, and for this reason, FSC is abandoning the idea of a mediation process involving Resolute Forest Products,” said Kim Carstensen, Director General, FSC.

Spokespersons for Resolute and the Quebec forest industry association (CIFQ) have stated in the past that the proposed mediation is unrealistic because the issues under consideration are essentially the responsibility of the Quebec government and not forestry companies. Moreover, says the CIFQ, these issues affect all forest companies in Quebec interested in FSC certification, not just Resolute.

Abandoning the mediation proposal, FSC says it will continue to engage many other Canadian organizations that are willing to find solutions.

And it will ask the FSC board to consider Resolute’s membership in the association.

“Over the last months, we have repeatedly tried to open the door for constructive engagement from Resolute. Instead, Resolute has made derogative comments and attempted to instill public distrust in our system. This behaviour is contrary to what is expected from FSC’s members,” says Carstensen.

He notes that FSC requires its members “to share the same values of cooperation and constructive engagement that the FSC system is built on.”