Holzindustrie Schweighofer threatens it might withdraw from Romania due to the Forestry Code

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The Austrian company Schweighofer Holzindustrie has warned on Friday that it might withdraw from Romania, due to the new Forest Code, whose impact cannot be predicted. Such a decision would endanger 3,000 jobs, according to agency APA quoted by ziare.com. “The impact of the law cannot be foreseen. Some production centres could be closed,” said on Friday a spokesman for the company.

Holzindustrie Schweighofer currently has 2,670 employees in Romania and the number could reach this year more than 3,000.

In the fall of 2014, the company sent a letter to Prime Minister Victor Ponta, threatening that mass redundancies could be operated.

According to Schweighofer, discussions in Romania are exaggerated, being triggered by a secretly made film, which intends to prove that they have bought illegally harvested timber. Holzindustrie Schweighofer rejects accusations.

As Romania Journal reported less than three weeks ago, an incognito investigation conducted by an international environmental organization accused the largest processor of resinous wood on the Romanian market agreed to buy wood knowing that is was illegally cut down from the forests in Romania. Environmental activists issued a recording in this regard, during a press conference carried out by the EIA executive director Alexander von Bismarck.

At the time, Holzindustrie Schweighofer informed it will start an internal investigation and will take decisions accordingly. “All persons involved in the procurement process are required to sign on their own responsibility that they will comply with the rules of conduct. Our company will not tolerate inappropriate behaviour of its employees. Holzindustrie Schweighofer meets all legal requirements imposed by the Romanian State. Moreover, we are certified FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and we are permanently monitored by independent auditors that keep track of stocks of raw materials processed in our factories and verify the legality of processed raw material in our manufacturing units. Holzindustrie Schweighofer supports any official and legal action directed towards the protection of natural resources, especially to protect forests,” said the company in a point of view.

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