Since the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) first published its Guide to Responsible Purchasing of Forest Products and the closely associated Keep It Legal manual as paper documents, there have been numerous developments that resulted in this revision. The main change is the development of these web pages, which are searchable and easier to maintain—allowing the GFTN to continue to offer the best advice available.
These pages contain numerous links to other websites, many of which are external. As such, we are not responsible for the content, but believe these sites to offer greater depth to the understanding of aspects of responsible purchasing of forest products.
There have also been numerous developments within the sphere of legality of forest products. Legislative processes in the US and Europe and developments within certification and chain of custody have all prompted us to enhance the advice available regarding legality. A significant change within these pages is that both sets of previously published guidance are brought together into what the GFTN believes is a single, more logical suite of advice documents.
The ability to print most sections of these pages and to search a number of key terms is intended to allow you as the user to both take in the overall concepts and easily find what you need on specific topics.
The original documents - Guide to Responsible Purchasing of Forest Products and the Keep It Legal manual have been printed and used in large numbers and much of the original logic and flow has been maintained within these pages.
Who Should Use These Pages
These pages are designed for use by a purchasing organization that wishes to develop a programme for the responsible purchasing of forest products. The guide lays out a generic approach for the development and implementation of a responsible purchasing policy, hereafter referred to as a responsible purchasing programme.
The guide is aimed at any medium-size or large enterprise, including primary mills, secondary processors, importers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, which purchase or procure forest products. In appropriate circumstances, it may also serve to guide smaller enterprises.
The guide outlines the various ways in which purchasing organizations can demonstrate compliance with best practice and ultimately with their own purchasing policies. It is based on both tried and tested mechanisms and extensive experience in the development of responsible purchasing programmes.
The principles outlined within this guide are in line with the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) Participation Rules; and as such, the guide should help GFTN Trade Participants meet their participation requirements. All GFTN Trade Participants are advised to refer also to the specific guidance issued by their local GFTN manager. Where advice is specific to GFTN participants, there are links to relevant documents or additional guidance.
This updated guide also includes a number of sections which were previously included in the GFTN Keep It Legal manual—providing more detail on sourcing issues relating to the legality of the wood or fibre.
The original paper versions of these two guides are still available as downloads (PDF) and the following pages are printable. Every effort has been made to retain the core information of the previous published documents and changes have only been made where circumstances, processes or legislation has changed.
The implementation of a responsible purchasing programme is a major undertaking for any organization and requires a high degree of commitment to achieve results. This guide outlines a set of processes and procedures by which a purchasing organization can begin to address the problems that are common to many supply chains.
The first two paper-based versions of this guidance have been widely distributed in a number of languages and are currently used by several hundred companies representing the whole supply chain from the forest floor to the retail store. The guidance has been adopted by companies sourcing products as varied as paper and plywood to sawn timber and furniture. Although designed primarily for companies that are participants in the Global Forest & Trade Network, it has also been welcomed by companies choosing to work outside this network.
Purchasers of pulp and paper based products are advised to also consult WWF’s guidance with respect to these products. Further information can be found here.