'Keep buying!' This is the message that certification schemes promote. Whenever an industrial or agricultural commodity falls into disrepute, a voluntary certification initiative will soon emerge. Certification schemes allow for the expansion of corporate control over community lands. They also have all failed to resolve conflicts between communities and the corporations that have taken over their territories. Their contribution to reducing ecological harm also remains elusive, especially where industrial monoculture plantations are given a “green” label.
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Certification schemes for tree plantations initially generated many expectations, promising a true transformation. Yet after all these years, we can definitely conclude that what the RSPO and FSC also have in common is that they will not meet those expectations.