APRIL Statement on FSC “Termination” Announcement
On 8 August, 2013 the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) announced that it had “ended all association with the APRIL Group” and implemented an “immediate termination” of Trademark License Agreements with various companies associated with APRIL. This is factually inaccurate.
As the FSC is aware, APRIL Indonesia had already ended its formal association with FSC in 2011 and other companies associated with APRIL proactively withdrew from FSC certification of their own volition earlier this year. Characterising FSC’s procedural completion of that process as a “termination” misrepresents the actual chain of events.
APRIL Indonesia and associated companies had already made public their withdrawal from the FSC certification process and the reasons for that, including in a statement on the company’s website on 12 July, 2013.
APRIL and companies associated with it chose to withdraw from FSC certification due to concerns about the FSC’s ‘Policy for Association’ which has a criteria that FSC or FSC-certified companies cannot be associated with companies which are part of a group that has converted more than 10,000 hectares of their land concessions to tree plantations within the past five years. Companies in Indonesia, including APRIL Indonesia, have been in the process of plantation establishment to create a renewable and sustainable source of wood fibre under Government license over recent years, which under the Policy for Association would render them ineligible for FSC certification.