NGOs - including excluded stakeholders supported by MEP Kathy Synott - made extensive presentations about the failures in both the certification of Coillte and the procedures of the Irish Forest Certification Initiative. There have widespread protests about their forestry practices, land sale activities, and their exclusion from the Freedom of Information Act. It is now more difficult to get information from Coillte Teo about District Management and they continue to forest and re-forest with exotic conifers on peatlands and other sensitive sites. At the end of 2006, Coillte was audited by Woodmark of the Soil Association and in spite of a long record of failings, known as Major Corrective Actions, their certificate of certification was extended until 2011.
FNN 176 examined in detail the failures of the Audit by Woodmark of the Soil Association which permitted the renewal of Coillte's Certification. June 2007 Accreditation Services International [ASI] of the Forest Stewardship Council spent the week of 9 September 2007 examining the audit procedures of Soil Association Woodmark (SAW). ASIs public summary clearly stated that the 'ASI audit team considered that SAW has not ensured compliance with relevant standard requirements.'
The question must be asked - how can Coillte remain FSC certified with 8 years of non-compliance? And perhaps more importantly what does this say about the FSC and other eco-labels?
FIE submitted a further complaint to Woodmark in September 2008 and hope that the concerns raised will be addressed