The EUTR will be implemented in March 2013 yet many Asian manufacturers and European buyers are unaware of the implications of the new ruling. We have compiled over 80 questions and answers in special category at our in-house Product Training Module (PTM) and invite you to get a password and do the test to evaluate your understanding and readiness to comply with the EUTR.
Our company is for many years FSC certified and we fully support the Forest Stewardship Council in their pursuit to “promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests”. I found last week an advertisement by a Malaysian company offering certified furniture using incorrect PEFC and FSC logos and sent a copy to both PEFC and the Rainforest Alliance (whom is our FSC auditor). The reason I do this is to alert both organisations on companies claiming to be certified but often are not. This happens a lot in China where the illegal use of trademarks seems to be common practice. It is important that companies like us who play by the rules and pay large sums to maintain our certification are protected from those “cheaters”.
PEFC responded to my mail that they would investigate and one day later, I was notified that the European mother company of this particular Malaysian company was indeed PEFC certified but the logo they used was incorrect and the mother company had been informed.
Rainforest Alliance also came back the same day with a rather astonishing reply; “when a product is FSC labeled, marks of other forest certification schemes should not be used on the same product. Regarding this case, it’s not allowed to place FSC logo in the same position with PEFC logo. PEFC is FSC’s competitor in forest certification”. Surprisingly they did not even address the issue if the Malaysian company’s FSC claim was correct and instead their reply only focused on protecting their the use of their logo. The most incredible statement was that “PEFC is FSC’s competitor” which really blew me away.
I would think that FSC (and their appointed auditors) would appreciate ANY legitimate organisation promoting similar goals. For sure forest certification schemes like AFCS, MTCS, PEFC, TFT (to name a few) run credible programs and these should not be seen as ‘competition” unless of course if you are a commercial organisation and profits are your main concern.
By the way, to date I have no reply from the Rainforest Alliance nor FSC what action has been taken to verify if the Malaysian company is certified which makes me wonder if they are only concerned about the proper use of their logo or indeed providing services to law-abiding customers like us.
Last week I attended the Malaysian Timber Council’s 20th anniversary dinner which was graced by the Malaysian Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries & Commodities. In his speech he (correctly) congratulated the MTC with their efforts to promote the Malaysian timber industry. He also reiterated the Malaysian’s government’s projected growth of RM53 billion by 2020 as set in the National Timber Industry Policy’s (NATIP). The Deputy Minister continued saying that “the industry must put in greater efforts to meet this target” and a bit later in a speech was proud to mention that the government just approved the license to bring in an additional 500 workers for the industry (and he actually asked the listeners to applaud for this). I am not sure if the Deputy Minister is aware that our industry requires far more workers and a mere 500 workers. My colleagues at APP Timber visits daily manufacturers and almost all of them complain that the lack of workers is hampering their growth. They do have good orders but the shortage of workers limits them to accept the orders. My estimate is that our industry can use at least 10,000 workers or more and hope that the Deputy Minster can look into this so that our industry can truly put in the greater efforts to meet the NATIP target.
This is to advise you that since three years we have an online Product Training Module (= PTM). Basically it is a large data-base with about 1500 questions & answers (multiple choice) allowing the management to send tests to all or selected APP Timber colleagues. The moment they complete the test they get automatically the result complete with the corrected answers. As management we have access to all results so we can guide selected sales colleagues to do more specific tests to learn more about specific products and supply programs.
All in all a very neat program which (proudly to say) we developed in-house but it will only be great marketing tool if all questions and answers are correct and regularly updated to reflect our current product range and supply program! We like to invite you to check out the system and send us as many as possible comments on existing questions & answers, submit lots of new questions (with one correct answer) so we can increase our data-base to at least 2500 questions. Try to include as many as possible pictures (max. size 500KB) and all kind of information which you believe our Sales Teams should know about your products; the more our Sales Teams know – the more they will sell.
You will require a password so gain access so please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and simple mention “PTM yes” so we will list you as visitor and you will receive an ID and password by separate email.
Test the system as often as possible and advise us via the PTM’s system all your comments.
Your assistance is appreciated.
Enjoy the tests,