IKEA uses timber illegally harvested in Ukrainian Carpathians

Source : 112 Ukraine

The illegally produced timber in IKEA’s beech chairs has FSC certificate
15:52, 24 June 2020

IKEA company sales beech chairs made of the timber received from illegal logging of the forests in the Ukrainian Carpathians, where endangered species of lynx and bear live as the 18-month investigation of the British non-governmental organization Earthsight states.

The illegal lumber was used during the production of the number of well-known goods, particularly, its legendary folding chairs, folding chairs Terje and popular diner chairs Ingolf.

Annually, dozen of thousands of chairs made from the illegal timber are sold in the IKEA shops all over the world, including in the U.S., the UK and Germany.

Related: Ukrainian Parliament supports ban on timber harvesting in Carpathians

It is noted that such logging is possible due to the corruption of the public forest enterprises.

“Continued illegal logging to supply IKEAs beech chairs was even detected by Earthsight during the worldwide Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown of April 2020,” the message said.

Much of IKEA’s melamine-­coated chipboard furniture is also produced from the Ukrainian timber of the suspect origin.

During the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych in 2011-14, the foreign companies sent millions of dollars to the offshore accounts of his corrupted friends as the bribe for the access to timber.

Related: Parliament criminalizes illegal export of woods and timber

Earthsight investigation shows that probably, timber for which the bribes were paid was mentioned for Ikea and turned into its goods. IKEA is the largest consumer of timber in the world. In 2019, 21 million cubic meters of logs were used for IKEA’s production. If these logs are laid end­-to-­end, their length will stretch seven times over the Earth. Earthsight calculated that the company uses one tree per second.

To prevent illegally and unsustainably harvested wood from entering its supply chains, Ikea mainly relies on the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). It creates the system of the green labeling of the wood worldwide.

Related: Ukrainian Parliament restricts use of processed timber, suspends lumber exports

The illegal timber in IKEA's beech chairs has an FSC certificate as well as many logs harvested during Yanukovych’s presidency. The Ukrainian foresters-informants told Earthsight how FSC auditors communicate with corrupted management and it is easy to walk over them.

It is noted that such fails of the FSC as in Ukraine occur all over the world.

As we reported, the State Security Service of Ukraine exposed and blocked the scheme of large-scale theft of state forest resources in the Zakarpattia region.


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