Extortion? Keep in mind that as far as the printing industry is concerned, the ones forcing the issue are the consumers/print buyers. How dare they extort us!
FSC certification is primarily a means to identify the orgin and quality of a product/production process (extending well beyond paper) and has had a positive impact on forestry practices internationally. Anyone out there blindly trust the forestry industry to operate in a sustainable and ethical manner based on their word? Anyone else require credentials of similar nature from a person or company prior to doing business with them?
Its very easy for a printer to purchase FSC paper without certification, and many clients might be satisfied with this. Others may want to promote that FSC paper is used on their products. In this case, certification is required as evidence of conformance. You can argue the true benefits of this to the printer given the cost of certification, but I really don't understand the paranoia. Its purely voluntary.