The Forest Trust (TFT) (formerly the Tropical Forest Trust) is a UK registered charity focused on making the trade of timber from sustainable forest management standard practice. TFT works with partners at all stages of the supply chain – from forest producers, to mills and factories, to retailers who sell tropical wood products (like garden furniture) at their stores. By promoting sustainable forestry, TFT seeks to give tropical forests value as fully functioning ecosystems, rather than as land cleared for alternative uses.
TFT has offices in the UK, France, Switzerland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, China, United States, Brazil, Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Gabon. The TFT is governed by a Board comprising representatives of its members and independent experts.
TFT currently recognises the Forest Stewardship Council as the leading international forest certification scheme providing credible independent assurance that source forests are well managed. TFT helps its members to manage and monitor their supply chains and it helps the forests that anchor those supply chains to achieve FSC certification. TFT assists member companies to find out where their wood currently comes from. Having done so – or having identified the reasons why it is impossible to do so – the TFT helps its members to develop policies for where they want their wood to come from in the future. It then helps its members to identify ‘good wood’ sources: FSC certified forests that meet their product needs or, where these are lacking, Transition Wood Sources that are implementing or are ready to implement a strictly controlled Certification Action Plan with the TFT to achieve FSC certification.
Forests Now Declaration
The TFT has also endorsed the Forests Now Declaration, calling for new market based mechanisms to protect forests.
In North America and Europe demand for FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood has led to many millions of forest hectares achieving certification. However, there has been less rapid certification in developing countries. Tropical forest managers are often unsure of how to achieve certification and they face highly complex forest management contexts that make achieving certification difficult. Even securing wood from known legal sources is challenging in many tropical countries where enforcement systems are weak and illegal logging is common.