If you are an individual smallholder with an independent plantation, PEFC certification may be too costly or take too much time for you to achieve on your own. Luckily, you don’t have to. PEFC supports group certification, which allows smallholders to organize themselves, pool their resources and work as a team to achieve certification.
PEFC’s Commitment to the Smallholder
Commitment to family and community forest owners and rubber growers is built into who we are at PEFC. Our organization was founded more than 20 years ago by a group of small and family forest owners, and we have had smallholder interests at heart ever since. We also understand that it is impossible to provide for the lasting protection of the world’s forests without the help of smallholders like you. 80% of the world's rubber plantations are owned by families and communities, and we can’t protect them and the forests around them without your help!
How Group Certification Works
Rather than process alone, smallholders can join a group and achieve certification together. These groups vary from country to country, and can be formed by grower’s associations, at the regional level, or simply be open to any grower regardless of their affiliation. The group selects representatives responsible for ensuring sustainable practices of plantation members, and these representatives interact with PEFC and with auditors.
This approach greatly reduces costs, because not every smallholder is audited externally. Instead, the certification and audit both happen at the group level. Costs for management planning, and monitoring are also reduced. And for smallholders struggling to bring their practices into compliance to meet certification, the group is there to provide technical assistance as well. More detailed information on group certification can also be found on the main PEFC website.
Choose PEFC for Group Certification
PEFC, the world’s largest forest certification system, is the global leader in group certification. We have already used the group mechanism to help one million small scale forest owners achieve certification. Right now, PEFC is working to enable the certification of individual rubber plantations as small as a single hectare in Southeast Asia, as part of a larger group. Because to us, the long term health of every hectare and the economic prosperity of every smallholder is important.