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GCA And FSC Join Forces To Debunk Myths For Publishers

“Confusion is an obstacle in so many aspects of life and business – and FSC and the use of FSC logos on cards is one such topic for card publishers – but in a few months, myths will have been debunked and clarity will reign!” commented Sharon Little, chief executive of the GCA, following a very successful meeting with the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) to overcome obstacles that publishers face using FSC accredited boards and to clarify what is permitted on the use of the FSC logo.

“There is no denying that confusion is putting off many publishers already using FSC boards from showing their green credentials. We are really keen to provide clarity over what is and what isn’t permitted by FSC.” said Sharon Little.

Research and feedback from GCA members found wide confusion and misconceptions about use of the FSC logos, mainly due to the different information given to publishers by FSC accredited printers. This, in turn, was due to the disparity in the ways in which the different certification companies (who accredit the printing companies) interpret the FSC rules.

For example, some of certification companies have an approvals process when any changes are made to the designs of the backs of cards carrying the logo, resulting in added costs and delays, while other certification companies do not.

Other publishers, who do print on FSC accredited board do not use the logo as they feel it is unsightly, unaware that they could feature a smaller, more greeting card friendly version.

At the recent meeting Rosie Teasedale, FSC deputy director, Sharon Little, Sue Morrish of leading eco publisher Glebe Cottage, Bob Short of the Imaging Centre (who works with 200 small and medium sized publishers) and PG’s Jakki Brown discussed how to improve matters. Rosie appreciated that the implementation of the Council’s rules were uneven at best, and demystified many of the misconceptions about FSC.

“The great news is that the process is far more simple than we originally believed,” said Sharon, “and we are delighted to be working with FSC on a practical fact sheet specifically for our industry, which will clear up all the myths and misconceptions.”

The new FSC fact sheet is due to be launched at the GCA AGM, on September 29 at the Design Museum.

Common FSC Myths and Misconceptions

Myth: My company has to pay for an expensive accreditation to use the logo.
Fact: If publishers source the board via an FSC accredited printer, they do not need to be accredited themselves.

Myth: The FSC logo is big, green and ugly.
Fact: It used to be! But the new ‘FSC mini label’ is much smaller than the original and there are different versions which are suitable for cards.

Myth: My finishing company also needs to be FSC accredited.
Fact: Not so – by this time the cards are already printed with the logo, so the finishing company does not need to be accredited.