TIPWG newsletter March/April: ESRA update No.24316

By Jacqui Meyer, TIPWG Secretariat

Perhaps the title is a little exaggerated, however, for the past 18-months, it is fair to say ESRAs have been a constant feature of my life. That this has escalated from an important task on my daily ‘to do list, to something that stalks my dreams and is a feature of my every waking hour.

I now look back on the initial year as a honeymoon period, where months of development was followed by a rather painless ESRA review by the EMC that resulted in few amendments to the initial document. This document was also passed on to FSC, where again the feedback was received and required minimal alterations to the document.

Then in November 2020, we hit our first stumbling block with the development of training material for the implementation of South Africa’s National ESRA (currently on hold). During this in-depth examination of the ESRA, gaps in the document were found. These gaps are in the process of being closed, with priority being placed on the active ingredients most in demand. As we stand, the glyphosate ESRA has been amended and is currently ready for review. Once we have received feedback on this, we will roll out the changes made to all other active ingredients. This will inevitably result in some major changes but will ensure the ESRA document is robust. We are asking for your patience while we review the ESRA document.

These changes should not hinder any CH’s undergoing FSC audits and we hope that with each consecutive audit we can strengthen the ESRA document and its implementation. We therefore implore you to engage with us and communicate any audit findings which may be of use.

By the end of this year, I hope we can look back at this experience with a touch of relief, knowing we have a robust National ESRA and happy in the knowledge that the steepest part of the learning curve was at the beginning and we are thankfully through this. However, for now, we are still at the beginning of our ESRA journey and from where I am standing the learning curve is looking rather steep and all we can do is just keep running.


Photo by Jakub Kriz on Unsplash

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