People (Social) 

Promoting forest certification: reaching out to smallholders and private owners

Portucel manages around 120,000 hectares of forest, but it depends heavily on buying wood from other forest owners who grow eucalyptus. Most of these growers operate on a very small scale: Portugal has around 400,000 forest owners, 85 per cent of them owning less than three hectares.

Sustainable forest management is a key concern for Portucel. However, securing supplies of certified wood from small forest owners has been a challenge. Many see the forest certification process as complex and costly. The company decided to take action to improve forest management and build certified supply. 

In 2006 Portucel began paying a price premium to all suppliers of FSC-certified wood. For smallholders managing fragmented and dispersed areas of forest, this can make all the difference: it covers the costs of certification and provides a tangible financial benefit.



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