2.2 Conducting a Baseline Assessment
A preliminary analysis of the organization's current sources of forest products must be undertaken to broadly categorize supplies according to the level of traceability and the environmental status of source forests. This analysis should include an investigation of key suppliers to identify any issues or concerns that will require further investigation. This analysis may form the basis for prioritizing certain supply chains or source countries when the fuller process of assessment commences.
The baseline assessment should match the information-gathering and assessment systems that are discussed in more detail within elements five and six: establishing traceability and determining the environmental status of supplies. This will help ensure that only one system will need to be developed and suppliers will not face a variety of different processes that will lead to confusion.
The baseline assessment is very likely to reveal gaps, sometimes major, in the picture of the supply chain. These gaps are the priority areas for future target setting and activity. The baseline assessment provides a snapshot of the current situation and may reveal large areas where transparency and policy compliance is poor. Without this assessment, it is impossible to identify targets for improvement in the short, medium and long term.
Note for GFTN Participants: Companies that are applicants to the GFTN will routinely be asked to complete a baseline assessment prior to developing their first action plan. A template of a GFTN baseline appraisal is available from your local GFTN manager.
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