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Assessment of Chain-of-Custody Certification in the Czech and Slovak Republic

Department of Marketing, Trade and World Forestry, Faculty of Wood Sciences and Technology, Technical University in Zvolen, T. G. Masaryka 24, 960 53 Zvolen, Slovakia
Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Prague, Czech Republic
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1898;
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 10 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Timber Consumption)
PDF [273 KB, uploaded 21 October 2017]


Forest certification is a voluntary verification tool that has been gaining importance within the global sustainability issues as an independent verification tool for sustainable forest management and wood processing industry and as an influencer in private and public purchasing policies and a component of emerging wood harvesting and trade legality schemes. This study focuses on the chain-of-custody (CoC) component of forest certification. A survey of CoC certified companies in the Czech Republic and Slovakia was carried out to explore the understanding of the concept and role of forest and CoC certification as an environmental, economic, and social tool. It aimed to determine expectations following from the implementation of CoC certification by companies and to identify difficulties in existing certified wood product supply chains and costs related to purchase and sales of certified forest products, respectively. Results indicate that respondents demonstrated a high level of understanding of the CoC concept and that they link forest certification mainly to the issues of legality, tracing the origin source of supply and promotion of sustainable utilisation of wood. The main expected benefits are linked to the improvement of an external company image followed by penetration of new markets and increase of sales volume. CoC is not considered a tool to improve internal company performance and efficiency. The key problems connected to certified supply chains relate to the sufficient quantity of certified forest products, low margins and overpriced certified material inputs. Respondents reported none or minimum price premiums for their certified products over non-certified alternatives. Several differences related to the understanding of the sustainable forest management concept and the level of price premium paid for certified inputs were identified between the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified companies as well as between the different forest products sectors. View Full-Text
Keywords: certification; chain of custody; sustainable wood utilisation; certification cost certification; chain of custody; sustainable wood utilisation; certification cost
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Paluš, H.; Parobek, J.; Dudík, R.; Šupín, M. Assessment of Chain-of-Custody Certification in the Czech and Slovak Republic. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1898.

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