Private forest owners in New Zealand seeking to enter the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) log market now have access to a new group certification scheme.

The scheme has been developed by Wrightson Forestry Services to allow private owners with a cost-effective way to enter the FSC market.

The company believes the trend of corporate forest owners becoming FSC certified could lead to uncertified forest owners being squeezed out of the market.

A growth forecast by Wrightson clients sees their combined harvest volume growing by 270% to 1.6 million m3 by 2007, making private forest owners the equivalent of the third largest forest company in the country.