As featured in the Timber & Forestry E News
Draft standard available for comment in mid-2021

WITH more than 300 chain-of-custody certified companies in Australia, the AS 4707 Chain of Custody Standard – in addition to delivering Responsible Wood-certified products to the marketplace – has a tremendous impact on internal management processes of businesses along the timber value chain.

The standard provides organisations in the wood or forest products certification chain with the minimum criteria and requirements to implement a credible system.

This system tracks wood or forest products originating from Responsible Wood-certified forests through all phases of ownership, transportation and manufacturing to the end consumer.

Following the appointment of the AS 4707 standard reference committee and working group in late 2020, the committee met this week in Brisbane to review the current standard (AS 4707:2014) and commence on a working draft.

The reference committee nominating bodies include the Association of Accredited Certification Bodies, Australian Forest Products Association, Australian Institute of Packaging, Omega Consulting, Timber Development Association, Tasmanian Forest Products Association, the University of Melbourne, the Victorian Forest Products Association and the Women in Forestry Network

Peter Zed of Omega Consulting has been appointed chair of the committee. He holds an Honours degree in Forestry from ANU and has worked within the timber industry for more than 40 years.  His involvement has ranged from plantation development to forest product manufacturing in roles as diverse as R&D scientist to chief executive.

The new standard is expected to adopt changes in the chain-of-custody rules for PEFC ST 2002:2020 and trademark-requirements and PEFC ST 2001:2020 trademark rules.

PEFC is the world’s largest forest certification authority with more than 20,000 companies certified under the PEFC chain-of-custody standard.

Responsible Wood is the national governing body for PEFC in Australia with the Australian standard endorsed by and mutually recognised by PEFC International.

“We expect the draft standard to become available for public consultation in mid-2021,” Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries said.

“The consultation is an essential part of Responsible Wood standards setting process where we share the work by the standard reference committee and working group, obtaining the input of everyone concerned,” he said.

Caption: Preparing for a Zoom conference at the first meeting of the AS 4707 standard reference committee, Clarissa Brandt of Timber Queensland, representing the Women in Forestry Network, Peter Zed, Omega Consulting, chair, Simon Dorries, CEO, Responsible Wood, and David Rawlinson, independent environmental expert