After receiving allegations from various stakeholders questioning the integrity of FSC-certified charcoal, FSC and ASI promptly started an initial investigation into the charcoal supply chain. Enough evidence of misleading claims was found to justify a more comprehensive investigation into the charcoal product type, which is currently taking place. However, action is being taken as the investigation continues, and 9 certificate suspensions have already been implemented.
Performing an in-depth investigation of charcoal means that the entire supply chain is mapped to identify mismatches and whether the volume of products sold is plausible when considering the volume of inputs.
Almost all certificate holders with charcoal in their certificate scope have already shared total volumes and a list of their trading parties with FSC and ASI, and ASI has used this information to start the demanding task of fully mapping the extent of false claims in the charcoal supply chain.
ASI-accredited conformity assessment bodies will act on mismatching volumes between businesses by issuing corrective action requests, and/or suspending or terminating certificates that allow misleading transactions to enter the FSC system. The questionable product will then be removed, and mandatory transaction verification and increased fibre testing will be implemented. ASI oversight has been increased in regions where problems have been identified. And where questionable results remain unresolved, onsite assessments have been done or are scheduled to take place.
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