Forest Certification Perspectives in the Wood Products Supply Chain in Virginia, U.S.A.
Participation among private forest owners, logging contractors, and wood products manufacturers in the forest certification sector remains low. Those that enroll are mainly large-acreage owners and specialized manufacturers. Little is known about certification perspectives across the supply chain and how they relate. Comparing what owners, contractors, and manufacturers think about certification would increase insight regarding sector growth. In this study, 2,741 private forest owners, logging contractors, and wood products manufacturers in Virginia, U.S.A. were surveyed about their beliefs regarding the impact of certification on economic opportunities and image and the extent to which they think it positively affects the forestry sector and understand how to certify forestland. Co-orientation was used to map alignment and predictions between respondents. Owner and contractor responses were similar and predictions about each other mostly accurate, but manufacturer responses and predictions were largely incongruent. Manufacturers generally aligned more so with contractors than owners but contractors identified slightly more with owners. Owners and contractors shared perspectives and a discernable identity, whereas manufacturers viewed certification in a less positive light. Implications for participation in forest certification focus largely on interrelationships of actor perspectives regardless of scale and emphasize the roles each can play in the forest certification sector.