Procedure for Addressing Allegations of SFI Program Non-Conformance
Any party with information or claims about a Program Participant’s individual practices that may be in nonconformity with SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard or the SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard may seek to have those claims investigated.
The complainant shall present specific claim(s) of inconsistent practice in writing and in sufficient detail to the Program Participant. Within 45 days of receipt of the claim of inconsistent practice, the Program Participant shall respond to the complainant and forward a copy of the claim of inconsistent practice and its response to their certification body for review via surveillance or certification audits. The certification body shall investigate the validity of the inconsistent practice and the Program Participant’s response and resolution of the claim at the time of the next scheduled surveillance audit.
A complainant who believes the issue has not been satisfactorily resolved may provide its original documentation and the response from the Program Participant to the appropriate SFI Implementation Committee Inconsistent Practices Program, which shall investigate and respond to the claim of inconsistent practice(s) within 45 days of receipt of documentation. The SFI Implementation Committee shall provide copies of its findings and any recommended actions to both the Program Participant and the complainant. The Program Participant shall forward the results of the SFI Implementation Committee investigation to its certification body.
In the event litigation is involved between the external party and Program Participant, the inconsistent practices process shall be suspended pending resolution of the litigation. It shall be re-started following resolution of the litigation if SFI nonconformity issues remain.
August 17, 2016