FSC Australia advises that stakeholder consultation should be accessible, transparent and rigorous for all groups wishing to comment on controlled wood issues, particularly high conservation values.
Stakeholders should be advised no less than a clear 30 days prior to a verification audit of the company’s intention to undertake an audit (60 days for the first verification audit). Notification should be through company stakeholder lists (that include a cross-section of stakeholders) and the FSC Australia electronic newsletter. They should be invited to contact FSC Australia to discuss the process and be provided with a copy of the relevant standard.
Stakeholders should be invited to make written submissions or a personal presentation during the verification process. Stakeholders wishing to make a presentation to the verification auditor should be able to do so without the presence of staff from the organisation being audited. Stakeholders and companies should treat each other with respect in the consultation process. Where stakeholders make a reasonable request to show the verification team evidence of forest management practices believed to be threatening high conservation values, this should be accommodated within the verification audit.
Verification audit reports should demonstrate to the certification body how stakeholder views were taken into account and evaluated in the audit process.
Publication date: 25/11/08