Brico Depot announces suspension of timber products supply from Holzindustrie Schweighofer

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Brico Depot Romania said on Thursday it has stopped the supply of timber products from the Austrian manufacturer Holzindustrie Schweighofer, following the decision by the Association for the Forest (Forest Stewardship Council – FSC) earlier this year to withdraw definitively the certification for the wood processed by the Schweighofer group.

“We want to offer for sale wood products having a 100% safe source of origin, enabling our customers to make sustainable choices. All the timber of our product range is responsibly audited, being approved by recognized and competent committees, such FSC and PEFC,” Christian Mazauric, CEO Brico Depot Romania, said in a statement.

Thus, Brico Depot Romania ceased the orders to the Austrian group, using alternative providers that have the FSC certification and no order will be placed to Schweighofer Group without having the FSC agreement, the source reads.

Brico Depot is part of Kingfisher plc, the home improvement retail group in Europe, with over 1,100 stores in 10 countries in Europe.

The decision comes several months after the Romanian branch of German DIY retailer Hornbach announced is dropping the commercial relations with Austria’s Holzindustrie Schweighofer, as of January 2017, according to a press release in December 2016.

This decision came following an Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) investigation implicating the company in illegal logging and after the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) placed Schweighofer ‘s certification under probation.

The decision comes in the context of which Hornbach wants all wood materials and timber products purchased by the group to come from “sustainable forestry”.

“We have been closely monitoring the recertification process of Schweighofer and we decided to stop working with this company on the segment of wood for construction and planing wood,” Mugurel-Horia Rusu, General Manager Hornbach Romania stated.

In reply, Holzindustrie Schweighofer informed it does everything within its means to fight illegal logging in Romania although the company does not harvest trees itself – it buys the timber from suppliers who act under the Romanian Law.

“In the light of the latest retailer announcement concerning environmental sustainability, Holzindustrie Schweighofer reiterates its own dedication towards sustainable and transparent sourcing,” a release issued last week read.

The international organization Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) announced on February 17 that it definitely withdraws the certification for the timber processed by the Austrian group Schweighofer after activists from three countries (Germany, Austria and Romania) handed a petition signed by over 250,000 citizens to the FSC directors.

Following this decision, illegally cut wood in Romanian forests will not be certified as sustainable and will not be sold under FSC brand on international markets.

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