Dragan Savić Drvo Mehanika
Dragan Savić


Group certification is designed for small and independent companies (most of the companies in the Adria-Balkan Region) that, by forming a group, can have an easier access to the FSC CoC certification by sharing the costs of certification and benefiting from technical support and control provided by a Central Office function.

First such group certification has developed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2022. The CoC group was formed with eight small companies, while today it has nearly tripled in size with plans to grow. CoC group certification is becoming a recognised tool for the further growth of the FSC system in this forest-rich Balkan country. Read our conversation with the group managers below to learn more about the first CoC group certificate and its advantages for small companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Have a look at the statements made by a few group members too!

The interiew

To demonstrate how CoC group certification looks like on the ground, we have met with the Savić spouses who enact the function of the Central Office, and asked them a couple of questions. Their answers are displayed below.

  1. Why is FSC certificate important for the small companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina?

    There are several reasons that we can mention, including marketing, competitive advantage on the market, customer's request, and in most cases, the importance of the FSC certificate may be seen precisely in the fulfilment of the client's/customer's request. When we talk about customer requirements, we are mostly talking about international customers, or customers from Bosnia and Herzegovina who are part of the international supply chain.

  2. How many companies did you start the group certificate with, and how many companies are part of the group today? What kind of business do the members of your group perform?

    We started with eight companies, and today there are twenty-two companies taking part in the CoC certificate. Current members of our group certificate come from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina including Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The group includes traders of forest products, sawmills, companies engaged in splitting wood, furniture factories, and many others. Each member of the group is specific in its own way, from the primary processing of wood to companies that furnish religious buildings such as churches.

  3. How do you communicate with your group members and are they networked with each other?

    There are certain collaborations between individual members of our group, but not all members are networked, although the information about all members of the group is publicly available. The common bond of our members is precisely us - the Central Office - which continuously communicates with them. We communicate with our members most often on an individual basis, because this has proven to be the most practical way, we adapt to the individual schedules of our members and arrange meetings in this way. The relationship between us and our members is a relationship built on trust, and it is very important for us to preserve the privacy of the business of all our members.

  4. Are new companies welcome and what are the conditions for joining?

    New companies are certainly welcome, in the next year we plan to expand the group to over fifty small companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina. All small, legally stable companies that have a need for FSC certification and that meet the conditions prescribed by FSC regarding small companies are welcome to join. 

    What is the eligibility criteria to join the group certificate, as prescribed by the FSC?

    Groups of independent “small” companies are eligible to be included in the scope of a Group COC certificate if they conform to the following eligibility criteria:

    a) each company shall qualify as “small” as defined by:

    → No more than 15 employees (full time equivalent); or
    → No more than 25 employees (full time equivalent) and a maximum total annual turnover of US$ 1,000,000.

    b) all companies shall be located in the same country as the company that holds the group CoC certificate.

  5. Group COC certification has two main advantages, administrative and financial, can you tell us how this manifests itself in your group?

    Group CoC certification is financially much more convenient for small companies, since the annual audit is performed on a sample of companies from the group (so not every individual company is evaluated each year), which reduces the total costs of certification. Our final price for members of the group has no additional costs or extra surprises, and it includes consulting services and preparation for the audit, which is charged additionally in the case of single certification. So, in addition to financial benefits in the form of lower certification costs for group members, there are also administrative benefits that include consultancy services, preparation for audits, the possibility to contact us at any time regarding news on the market or regarding the demands of their clients and the communication and cooperation with the certification body on behalf of the group members.

Dragana Savic Drvo Mehanika
Dragana Savić

About the Central Office

The function of the Central Office is crucial for the proper functioning of the group certificate. The Central Office is thus responsible for the internal control of all group members, continuous communication and consultancy with its members, as well as the communication with the certification body on behalf of the members. The Central Office function of this young group is represented by professional and highly experienced spouses from the city of Banja Luka, Dragana and Dragan Savić and their company called Drvo mehanika d.o.o.

Dragan Savić (on the photo above) graduated in mechanical engineering, majoring in wood technology, and has been working in the wood industry since the beginning of his career which started in 1989. He has gone through all stages in the wood sector from a young technologist to the executive director of a furniture factory. Since 2005 he has been engaged in consulting work (he has personally prepared over 200 companies for FSC certification) as an expert in the wood sector, while since 2010 he has become the lead auditor for FSC CoC certification. 

Dragana Savić (on the photo to the right) studied protection at work and the environment, she has collaborated on the creation of various projects, preparation of documents for consultation, harmonisation of requirements with European norms, etc. Over the years, their businesses have gotten closer and closer, and since last year the two spouses have jointly entered into the business of managing the group FSC certificate, where Mrs. Dragana is the official manager of the group. Together, they are highly competent for the work of managing the group certificate, which requires a good knowledge of the FSC system, but also of the local wood sector and the local market.