NEPCon Mexico AC is now an independent Certification Body for Sustainable Forest Certification accredited by the national authority, the Mexican Accreditation Entity (ema).
The accreditation, which was granted on 8 March 2019, allows NEPCon to work with ejido, communities (Comunidades) and smallholders towards the federal certification process under the Standard for Certification of Sustainable Management of Forest.
Ejido refers to a system for community-based land ownership; while Comunidades refers to indigenous land ownership. Within both systems, forestry operations can be carried out on the land given by the federal government.
The Mexican Standard for Certification of Sustainable Management of Forest, or NMX-AA-143-SCFI-2015, allows certification bodies to assess forest management – ensuring its conformance with national forest and environmental regulations – and facilitates access to markets of products from certified forests.
This Standard also creates opportunities for ejido and communities to meet market demand for timber and non-timber products from certified forests.
Accreditation transferred to NEPCon
The Rainforest Alliance Mexico - Alianza para Bosques AC achieved the accreditation from ema on 18 March 2017. When NEPCon acquired the certification and verification unit of the Rainforest Alliance, RA-Cert, all related personnel and the delivery of RA-Cert’s ongoing certification and verification services were transferred to NEPCon.
Following the acquisition, the NEPCon learned that we need to repeat various procedures in order to move the accreditation to NEPCon.
“It was necessary to transfer the accreditation from Rainforest Alliance Mexico – Alianza para Bosques AC – to NEPCon Mexico AC, the legal entity of NEPCon in Mexico, to ensure it is in compliance with EMA’s sale and purchase procedures and protocols,” says NEPCon Mesoamerica Associate Manager, Zenaido Garnica Sánchez.
The transfer process took place between November 2018 and March 2019.
Assessments in the pipeline
Barely two months since accreditation, the team in NEPCon Mexico AC is already working hard on three evaluations under the Standard for Certification of Sustainable Management of Forests for Ejido Gavilanes, Ejido Espadañal and Comunidad Santiago Laxopa.
“We look forward to issuing our very first certification under this Mexican Standard. Hopefully, it will happen this year,” says Zenaido.