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PEFC looks into claims against Bricapar

Jul 11 2017

"I am very concerned about the claims made by Earthsight concerning Bricapar, especially as it would mean that we unwittingly contribute to the exact opposite of what we want to achieve, the sustainable management of the world's forests," said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General and CEO of PEFC International.

In its report "Choice Cuts - How European & US BBQs are fuelled by a hidden deforestation crisis in South America", Earthsight writes that briquettes produced by Bricapar are made of charcoal dust originating from the production process of charcoal by Bricapar and its third party suppliers of charcoal fines. These briquettes are then sold with the PEFC recycled label.

"I consider this to be against the spirit of the standard," said Mr Gunneberg. "Earthsight is absolutely correct in pointing out that we consider the conversion of forest to other vegetation types as a ‘controversial source’ and as exactly the kind of thing which certification is supposed to exclude."

"I have asked the Chain of Custody working group, a multi-stakeholder team of specialists dealing with such matters, for clarification. There is a need to eliminate such grey areas in our standard that put the good work of hundreds of thousands of responsible forest owners at risk."

Earthsight also writes that Bricapar and Ibecosol have been falsely using their PEFC status to reassure European retailers of their lumpwood charcoal, even though the PEFC certificate only applies to the company’s charcoal briquettes.

"The report does unfortunately not provide much evidence for these claims. The question is whether the company has sold the product with false claims, labeled products falsely or misused the trademark in their communication," explained Mr. Gunneberg. The certification bodies in charge will look into this and investigate."

PEFC Certified

Forests area: 307 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 20,000

(as of September 2018)

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