The American Forest Foundation (AFF) and The Forest Trust (TFT) today announced a partnership to help companies conserve forests by driving conservation action in their supply chains with an emphasis on family forests, one of the largest sources of wood supply in the U.S.
Through this partnership, TFT will work with brands to map their supply chains, trace products back to their origin and understand issues and risks such as where invasive species are increasing, high conservation values are being protected or forest carbon stocks are declining. AFF, with its expertise working with family forests owners to care for their woods, will help companies positively impact these risks, issues, and opportunities for increasing conservation on family forests.
“Collaborating with The Forest Trust is a continuation of our important work to help family forest owners to sustainably manage their land to support clean water, wildlife habitat, and more. When we can help companies source sustainable fiber from family forests, we strengthen and create markets for these landowners, giving them the income needed to continue to be good stewards of their land,” said Tom Martin, President and CEO of AFF.
Collectively, individual and family-owned land accounts for more than one-third of all forests across the United States, more forest land than the federal government manages on behalf of the public. These lands are owned by more than 21 million individual owners, in small tracts that average 66 acres in size. According to the U.S. Forest Service, these small forests supply more than 50 percent of the wood harvested and flowing into supply chains in the United States. AFF works with these landowners, as well as forest product companies, federal, state, and local agencies, and other partners to ensure responsible forest management through a variety of programmes.
“We act as a guiding partner to companies using wood products as they navigate through challenges in their supply chains, and family-owned forests are important suppliers of wood fiber,” said Robin Barr, Global Director at The Forest Trust. “Brands and their suppliers want to create meaningful change on the ground but need help to have the visibility and tools they need to do the right thing. AFF’s expertise with family forest owners and on-the-ground implementation will help buyers address issues that are important to family forest owners while also providing environmental benefits.”
This partnership will enable brands to more seamlessly engage in on-the-ground work with private landowners to transform their supply chains and drive positive outcomes in the places they source wood. The work will also support markets that encourage family forest owners to take conservation actions in their woods.
“Drax Biomass continues to work to better understand and enhance our supply chain operations in the south-eastern United States and we’re excited about these two organisations bringing their particular strengths together,” said Richard Peberdy, Drax Biomass vice president of sustainability. “We see real potential for positive outcomes with the mix of supply chain collaboration and direct outreach to landowners.”
The American Forest Foundation (AFF), a forest conservation organization, works on the ground with families, teachers and elected officials to promote stewardship and protect our nation’s forest heritage. A commitment to the next generation unites our nationwide network of forest owners and teachers working to keep our forests healthy and our children well-prepared for the future they will inherit.
The Forest Trust (TFT) is an international non-profit organisation that that transforms global supply chains by partnering with brands, traders, and producers to catalyse industry-wide chain reactions and improve the social and environmental aspects of production practices at the field, forest, and farm levels.