Nearly 600 million people manage some one billion hectares (2.5 million hectares) of agroforests worldwide, yet these smallholders have been largely left out of a push to move some commodities up the value chain through certification programs. To date, it has been mostly corporate entities and commercial farmers who have been able to capitalize on premiums offered for certified “eco-friendly” products. The reason is simple: scale. Smallholders can’t bear the costs associated with getting certified.
But a new handbook from The Forest Trust aims to change this by laying out steps to meet sustainability requirements set by international buyers for timber sourcing — specifically certification standards under Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC).