for a living planet


The GFTN Guide to Legal and Responsible Sourcing

6.2 Limited Knowledge of Forest Source

Known Sources

For the purpose of exercising due diligence, having knowledge of forest source is an important first objective. If the source is considered to be known, the purchaser knows where the timber was grown, and, as far as the purchaser is aware, the source is not unwanted (that is, at this stage there is no indication that the source does not comply with policy).

Table 1 outlines a hierarchy of steps that may be followed to establish whether a source can be described as known. 

A company has limited knowledge of forest source when:

  • Country of Harvest is known for direct imports and/or first placer on the market (US/EU context) but the source forest is not identifiable to a degree of precision that is commensurate with the risk that the source may be unwanted
  • Origin (forest source) may be unknown.
  • Under evaluation for unwanted material such as HCV, conflict timber, illegal timber, conversion timber, human rights violations, GMO.


  • No documentation to establish supply chain traceability to sub-national region (State/Province) or forest source.
  • No systems in place, or insufficient systems, to confirm authenticity of information provided by supplier about the source.

No 2nd or 3rd party verification of information about source.

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