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Not allowed to say "FSC"

We only stock sustainable wood products. They're either certified (FSC or PEFC), or the maker is in Europe, we trust them, and they literally know the people managing the local forest their wood comes from. We know these forests are being replanted, i.e., no deforestation.

We definitely don't stock "made far away or by someone we don't know well, with no sustainability certificate" wooden products, because these can come from deforestation - and our world needs more trees, not fewer.

The FSC symbol appears on the packages of FSC-certified products. When these are sold in a physical shop, the shop owner does not need to pay the FSC organisation to verify they are genuine.

But when an online shop (where you can't see the packages) writes "this product is FSC-certified" on its website, the shop owner needs to pay FSC to verify that this claim is true. The fee is way, way more than we as a small, self-funding social enterprise can afford.

We didn't know any of this until FSC emailed us demanding that we either pay them a lot of money, or remove all references to FSC from our website product descriptions (even though these products are FSC-certified, and our makers already paid FSC to certify them).

So for now we've had to do the latter - we've replaced "FSC" with "sustainability certified*".

Not a good feeling to be honest. We wish they didn't discriminate against online stores this way - they trust a printed-on-packaging logo to be genuine but don't trust a printed-online statement to be genuine. Not sure that makes sense in 2022.

But we're still glad FSC exists to help shoppers support responsible makers and responsible forestry.

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