The Rainforest Alliance has agreed to a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-Canada request that a suspended Resolute Forest Products certificate with the Rainforest Alliance be extended for six months. The certificate is for PF Résolu Canada Inc., located in Lac St-Jean, Quebec.
The Lac St-Jean certificate (RA-FM/COC-005956) will reach its one-year suspension anniversary on January 2, 2015 at which time the Rainforest Alliance would normally terminate the certification agreement, following usual administrative procedures. However, on December 30, 2014 FSC asked the Rainforest Alliance to consider an extension of the suspension period. In a public statement FSC notes that a “six-month extension provides the Government of Quebec with an opportunity to regularize the situation between the Cree and Innu.” The Rainforest Alliance’s extension of a suspension is not unusual when efforts are being made to address nonconformities with the FSC standards. In its statement FSC Canada says: “FSC is confident in Resolute Forest Products’ ability to reinstate the validity of the FSC certificate in the Saguenay Lac St-Jean region, while adhering entirely to the FSC standards.”
If the nonconformities are not addressed within the six-month extension period, the Rainforest Alliance will re-assess the situation and make a decision whether to terminate the certificate or grant another extension.
As per FSC policy, an operation with a suspended certificate is not eligible to make FSC claims regarding its certification or products. Reinstatement of a suspended certificate depends on the operation’s evidence of full conformance with all outstanding major nonconformities.
A second, previous Mistassini-Péribonka certificate (RA-FM/COC-004525) reached the five-year expiration date of the certification agreement on December 3, 2014 and therefore the certificate status changed from suspended to terminated in the FSC system. This operation may choose to re-engage in the FSC certification process with any Certification Body operating in Quebec.