Ashland, ME – The Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands (TCNEF) has announced that Northeast Pellets, LLC, a wood pellet manufacturer in Ashland, Maine, has achieved Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain of custody certification for the pellet products it produces at its facility. Northeast Pellets is the only FSC certified pellet manufacturer in the state of Maine and one of the first home heating pellet firms nationally to achieve this certification.
FSC is the world’s most trusted forest certification. The FSC is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economically prosperous management of forests. It was created in 1993 to set the standards by which forests are certified, offering assurance to consumers and businesses that the wood products they buy originate from well-managed forests. More than 5,000 companies and nearly 160 million acres of forestland are certified under FSC in the United States and Canada. For more information visit www.fsc.org.
Matt Bell, president and CEO of Northeast Pellets, LLC states: “Northeast Pellets is proud to be creating sustainable, renewable jobs in our community while lessening our dependence on foreign oil. Over the past several years, we have noticed increased retailer and consumer demand for FSC fiber in both the paper and lumber industry. We feel this demand should carry over into the wood pellet market. This will give us an opportunity to do our part and help develop that market.”
Northeast Pellets are made from the organic bark-free mill residuals (sawdust, shavings, chips) that are produced during the lumber manufacturing process. By utilizing this byproduct, Northeast Pellets is not putting added pressure on standing forests.
Northeast Pellets manufactures super premium wood pellets for residential, commercial and institutional use. The firm offers 25lb, 40lb and 1-ton bags, as well as selling loose bulk. Started in 2004, Northeast Pellets was the first of the four existing pellet mills in the great state of Maine. Northeast Pellets’ 40lb bagged product is sold by national retailers such as Home Depot, Tractor Supply, Lowes and Sam’s Club. Northeast Pellets also supplies bulk pellets to local colleges and universities such as Northern Maine Community College in Presque Ise and the University of Maine at Fort Kent.
FSC certification will also position Northeast Pellets to meet the demand of the growing overseas export market. The European Union demands FSC certification as a requirement for imports.
Recent announcements by major retailers including Wal-Mart, IKEA and Target that have committed to sourcing FSC products is a sign that consumers are demanding responsibly sourced products and that retailers are striving to meet this demand.
The Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands was formed in 2003 by the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC) trade association to administer the first-in-the-world point of harvest certification for logging contractors, called the Northeast Master Logger Certification Program. TCNEF’s mission is to “enhance the health of working forest ecosystems through exceptional accountability” throughout the Northern Forest region.
In addition to administering the Northeast Master Logger program, TCNEF administers an FSC®-certified group of family forest landowners throughout New England and New York. Under this arrangement forest landowners can inexpensively gain access to FSC® group certification. TCNEF is the administrative body that holds the FSC certificate and has overall responsibility for compliance with the FSC® Standard.
TCNEF also administers an FSC®-certified group of Chain of Custody that provides an information trail, established and audited according to rules set by FSC, for Master Loggers and wood products companies, to ensure that wood comes from certified forests.
Ted Wright, Executive Director of the TCNEF, states: “Seeing companies like Northeast Pellets LLC take the extra step to show their customers their commitment to responsible sourcing is a great thing. Consumers and retailers are looking for assurances that the products they purchase do not have detrimental impacts on the world’s forests. FSC Certification provides that assurance. TCNEF was created to provide our region with programs that certify responsible harvesting. This is brought on by consumer demand; and we want companies like Matt’s and others in Maine and throughout the Northeast to have that advantage in the marketplace.”
Bell added, “Be sure to look for the FSC logo on the bag when purchasing wood pellets”