The Forest Trust

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The Forest Trust (TFT)

The Forest Trust (TFT), formerly the Tropical Forest Trust, is a non-profit organisation which is registered as a charity. It works with global companies, NGOs and communities for the benefit of people and nature, as well as the businesses which use the raw materials in those environments in their products.

The majority of TFT’s staff are based out in the field in forests, plantations and quarries where commodities are grown, through to production in mills and factories throughout the world. While TFT’s business support teams work with TFT members’ buyers/procurement teams and senior management and their supply chain partners to understand what they can do to source products more responsibly.

TFT works with its members, which range from global brands and commodity producing and growing businesses across a variety of product groups, including: palm oil, pulp and paper, wood, charcoal, cocoa, stone, coconut, rubber, soy and sugar. TFT has offices in Switzerland, France, UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Laos, Vietnam, India, Australia, Liberia, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, USA, Brazil and Ecuador.


TFT was founded by Scott Poynton in 1999 after he encouraged six major European retailers and their main suppliers to invest in eradicating illegal logging from their garden furniture supply chains. The companies were inspired to invest and leverage their supply chains to transform practices on the ground. TFT set up traceability systems to help bring forests up to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified standards, the first time occurrence of the standard in the garden furniture industry.

In 2010, TFT changed its name from The Tropical Forest Trust to The Forest Trust. As the organisation’s presence grew in forests around the world, TFT was no longer only focusing on tropical forests. The organisation is now more commonly referred to as TFT to reflect the fact that some of the product groups it works across - such as stone - are not sourced from forests. In 2016 Bastien Sachet became TFT CEO.

TFT values and the VTTV Approach[edit]

TFT's coat of arms

TFT members commit to turning supply chain responsibility into a source of value for both business and society. Membership focuses on commitment and measurable progress that clearly moves the company towards responsible sourcing of raw materials.

TFT members all deal in products made from raw materials grown or extracted from the land. Members vary by size, location, history, type of products and their position in the supply chain. Each member is unique and travels its own path towards transforming how its products are sourced. TFT does not impose a one-size-fits-all solution. Its role is to guide and support them, agreeing on a relevant set of actions and solutions with members with the goal of bringing tangible change.

TFT works with its members to trace their supply chains back to the source of the raw material they use, identifying key social and environmental risks to help members to manage and monitor their supply. TFT achives this by working with its members following the VTTV (Values, Transparency, Transformation and Verification) model.

Work in palm oil[edit]

TFT has developed an approach to transform the palm oil industry and believes that palm oil certification alone is not the answer. Starting with Nestlé in 2010, it has gone on to work with palm oil growers, mills and processors in more than 20 countries. Its palm oil members include Wilmar, Golden Agri-Resources, Nestlé, Ferrero, Mars, Reckitt Benckiser, and Danone.

It has palm oil teams in Indonesia, Malaysia, Ivory Coast and Cameroon - which support activities with palm oil producers across Central and West Africa - as well as operations in Central and South America, as development of plantations continues to gain momentum. It also supports work on the ground in many other countries such as Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, among others.

TFT palm oil papers[edit]

TFT's Bastien Sachet wrote extensively on the lessons learned by TFT while working in palm oil, producing a palm oil paper in 2013, 2014 and 2015

Wilmar International[edit]

On 5 December 2013, after months of negotiation with TFT, the world's largest palm oil company Wilmar International[1] – which trades 45% of the world’s palm oil – announced a landmark 'No Deforestation, No Exploitation policy'.[2] Its commitment extends to all of its operations worldwide, which includes all of its subsidiaries, any refinery, mill or plantation it owns, manages, or has invested in, regardless of stake, as well as, all third-party suppliers from whom it purchases or with whom it has a trading relationship. TFT teams are working on the ground in Indonesia, Malaysia and Uganda to help suppliers understand and embed the change.

Nestle’s Responsible Sourcing Guidelines[edit]

In May 2010, through partnership with TFT, Nestlé announced Responsible Sourcing Guidelines (RSGs) for its palm oil suppliers. Many Nestlé products contain the ingredient palm oil, widely associated with the deforestation of tropical rainforests. TFT worked with Nestlé to produce a set of critical requirements to guide the Nestlé procurement process and to ensure compliance with the Nestlé Supplier Code. Nestlé and TFT have put in place a supplier assessment process that sees Nestlé working with suppliers to recognise weaknesses and help them to become a “No Deforestation” supplier.

Golden Agri-Resources’ Forest Conservation policy[edit]

In late 2010, Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), the world’s second largest producer of palm oil agreed to a new standard ensure its subsidiaries conserve vulnerable carbon-rich forests and peatlands in Indonesia through an agreement with TFT.[3] The process leading to GAR’s announcement began with Nestlés introduction of its RSGs and its dropping of palm oil supplier, SMART, the parent company of GAR, after its implication in the production of unsustainable palm oil.[4] This sent a strong message to its suppliers, one of whom was GAR, that it would no longer accept materials that led to the destruction of valuable forests. This pressure helped draw GAR to the bargaining table, where it agreed to address problems of deforestation in its supply chain.[5] The agreement has seen a positive change in GAR's and its subsidiaries' forest activities. A report published by Greenomics, an Indonesian environmental NGO, has found evidence that GAR's subsidiaries are delivering on their commitment to avoid the clearing of carbon intensive forest in Indonesian Borneo.[6] Analyzing satellite imagery, Greenomics found that three of GAR's companies — PT Paramitra Internusa Pratama (PIP), PT Persada Graha Mandiri (PGM), and PT Kartika Prima Cipta (KPC) — operating in Kapuas Hulu Regency have preserved three blocks of secondary peat swamp within their concessions.[7]

Work in pulp and paper[edit]

Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP)[edit]

In February 2012 TFT began working with Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP), one of the world’s largest producers of paper and pulp. On 5 February 2013, APP announced an immediate end to all natural forest clearing in its supply chains in Indonesia and published its Forest Conservation Policy which outlined its commitment to ‘No Deforestation’.[8][9] APP has also pledged to recognise and respect the rights of the region’s indigenous peoples, many of whom depend for their livelihoods on forest resources; and protect forested peatlands that store substantial amounts of greenhouse gases. TFT will be closely monitoring the implementation of APP’s forest management policy and reporting on progress.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Golden Agri Resources. "Forest Conservation Policy". 
  4. ^ "Nestle will cut off palm oil suppliers who destroy the rainforest". The Telegraph. 2013-05-18. 
  5. ^ Greenpeace (23 May 2011). "One year after Nestlé committed to giving rainforests a break What has been achieved?". 
  6. ^ Greenomics Indonesia (24 May 2012). "What has been learnt form the first year of Golden Agri's forest conservation policy in West Kalimantan?" (PDF). 
  7. ^ Rhett, Butler (29 May 2012). "Palm oil giant making good on forest commitment in Indonesia, finds independent analysis". Mongabay. Retrieved 01/03/2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  8. ^ Fiona, Harvey (05/02/2013). "Leading paper firm pledges to halt Indonesian deforestation". Guardian. Retrieved 01/03/2013.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  9. ^ Sara, Schonhardt (05/02/2013). "Paper Producer to Stop Clearing of Indonesian Forests". The New York Times. Retrieved 01/03/2013.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  10. ^ "Asia Pulp and Paper Group Forest Conservation Policy" (PDF). 3 February 2013. Retrieved 01/03/2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External links[edit]