Tuesday, 21 November 2017
First FSC Business Forum for the Asia Pacific Region a Success
FSC Asia Pacific brought together almost 100 participants to join the 2017 inaugural business forum, entitled “Diversifying your FSC Supply: Connecting Suppliers and Buyers” in Hanoi Vietnam on the 7th & 8th November 2017. The forum was hosted in response to the increased demand for sourcing responsible forest products, and was a platform for local companies to network, learn and grow.
Asia Pacific is the world’s most populated region and one of the fastest growing economies, it is crucial for the region to move in a sustainable direction down the road of development. FSC is increasingly recognised as a strong tool to achieve this by brands. Kimberly Clark and Tetra Pak presented at the forum about how they are proactively campaigning about FSC and integrating it as a key CSR message. Other brands present included, publisher McPhearsons’, retailer Target (US), Olan and Fuji Xerox.
FSC’s growing relevance was further highlighted by the attendance of companies from a broad range of industries: forest management, furniture manufacturers, retailers, timber merchants, packaging and paper companies. FSC Australia CEO Sara Gipton and New Zealand Business Development Manager, Cyrielle Durand attended to represent our local interests.
Hanoi, Vietnam, was a choice location to represent FSC growth, as it is booming market for certified forests and certified timber products, as this part of the world supplies 90% of Europe’s outdoor furniture. Nearly half of Vietnam’s land is covered by forests, and among them, 6.9 million hectares are productive forests. As one of the major natural resources of Vietnam, it produces major timber products such as acacia, bamboos, eucalyptus and rubber. To halt deforestation, it is imminent for those areas to be sustainably managed. The forum reinforced that is the way that businesses and consumers can be assured that we protect forests for all forever – protecting forests for future generations and industry.
The event was lead by Adam Beaumont (FSC APAC Regional Director) and Mr Cao Chi Cong, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, delivered a keynote speech acknowledging FSC's benefit to both the environment and business. Sara Gipton, FSC Australia CEO, reflected that “The forum really engaged with the need to balance between supply and demand, industry innovation and stressed the importance of getting benefits back into the community. It showcased how the FSC system strives for continuous improvement”
Sara Gipton, FSC Australia CEO, reflected that “The forum made clear that large brands expect FSC standards and that many Forest Managers are rising to that standard to create supply to meet the demand. It also stressed the importance of getting economic and other benefits back into the community. It showcased how the FSC system strives for continuous improvement.”
The morning session began with talking about FSC as the market tool on organisation’s procurement policy, CSR obligations and Sustainable Development Goals, and the current and future market demand for FSC, challenges and opportunities in the pulp, paper and packaging sector.
The Forum continued with talking about the Rubber sector on the growing demand for FSC latex, followed by the Sustainable Timber Use in Construction and Furniture Sector. New Zealand based Timber supplier, Abodo Wood, presented on the growing use of Sustainable Timber.
The event was considered a great success, business cards were exchanged, discussions happened and people shared insights and opinions. New Zealand Business Development Manager, Cyrielle Durand reflected “it was great to see so many companies connecting and working around the same goal”.
A big thank you to event sponsors, who assisted to bring the region together and presented engaging exhibition booths - showcasing their sustainable operations and FSC-certified products.
We hope to see you in 2018!
See the photo highlights of the business forum here.