The Rainforest Alliance has reached a settlement agreement with Resolute Forest Products concerning draft audit reports for the Black Spruce Dog River Matawin Forests and Caribou Forest operations in Ontario, Canada.
In May 2014, Resolute Forest Products filed a lawsuit against the Rainforest Alliance in connection with two of the company’s Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certificates in Ontario. In April 2014, the Rainforest Alliance conducted Corrective Action Verification Audits (CVAs) of Resolute’s Black Spruce Dog River Matawin Forests and Caribou Forest certificates against FSC standards.
Under the terms of the agreement, a new CVA will be conducted by a new independent Rainforest Alliance audit team for the Black Spruce Dog River Matawin Forests (RA-FM/COC-005587), located in northwest Ontario. The CVA audit will be completed within six months. All elements of the agreement involving or related to the FSC processes and timelines have been reviewed by FSC International. The Caribou Forest certificate (RA-FM/COC-004570) expired in normal course on January 13, 2015, and therefore will not undergo a new CVA as part of this agreement.
The previous draft CVA audit reports related to Black Spruce and Caribou Forests have been sealed by an Ontario court. Following the upcoming CVA audit for the Black Spruce Dog River Matawin Forests, the Rainforest Alliance will disclose a public summary of the report findings, per FSC requirements.
The Rainforest Alliance remains committed to the FSC audit processes.