A Mid-Recession and Post-Recession Comparison of Chain-of-Custody Certification in the U.S. Value-Added Wood Product Manufacturing Sector
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In this paper we examine changes in perceptions, attitudes, and participation in chain-of-custody (CoC) certifi cation in the U.S. value-added, or secondary wood products sector between the period of the Great Recession (2007) and post-recession (2014). Data were collected for two studies conducted in 2008 (for 2007 annual data) and 2015 (for 2014 annual data) using web-based surveys administered by various value-added wood product associations on behalf of the researchers. Results show that understanding of CoC certification, purchases of certified raw materials, and costs to sell certified products increased over this period. The primary reasons for getting involved in certification changed from market driven (growing markets, increasing sales, and expanding market share) to customer driven (customer request) suggesting that respondents were attempting to use certification to become more competitive during the recession when many companies in the U.S. went out of business and employment in the sector declined. Nearly 100 % of respondents in both studies said that they planned on continuing sales of certified wood products.