Value chain analysis for acacia products and feasibility assessment of PEFC and FSC group certification in Vietnam
The Thua Thien Hue Cooperative Alliance (TTHCA) provides marketing and production services and manages the development of 256 cooperatives. 128 of the cooperatives own mainly acacia forests and produce woodchip, which is mainly sold on the domestic market after which it is exported to China, Taiwan or other Asian countries. TTHCA and its members risk a reduction in income because of the increasing sustainability requirements of the international market for forest products. However, the cost of accessing forest management certification is a big financial barrier for small forest owners (on average owning 1-3 ha of plantation forest). Group plantation forest management certification could be a potential solution for forest owners to improve their market position. To be able to assess the benefits of group certification, TTHCA and its members first want to gain insights in the current value chain of acacia products.
The ESFIM is supporting TTHCA with a value chain analysis of acacia products. Based on its results, it will be assessed if group certification by different forest certification schemes (Forest Stewardship Council, FSC, and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, PEFC) are financially viable. The research activities will be conducted by the Centre for Climate Change Study in Central Vietnam (CCCSC Vietnam). The results of the research will be used to improve the awareness of TTHCA members and other actors in the value chain to understand their own role and to identify potential bottlenecks. The feasibility assessment will be used as input for the decision-making by TTHCA about whether to apply for group certification and if so, which certification scheme is the most advantageous. The results will also serve as an example for other cooperatives and groups of small scale forest owners.
TTHCA has started with the implementation of the project in August 2016, and expects to finalize the project mid-2017. If they decide to apply for a certification scheme, a 1-year evaluation is planned.