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Agriculture : Austrian company Holzindustrie Schweighofer: an action plan for a sustainable wood industry


The Austrian group Holzindustrie Schweighofer fights against illegal tree felling with an action plan for a sustainable wood industry and makes the best to prevent illegal felling in Romania, despite the fact the company has no forest exploitation operations, the company says in a press release.

At the same time, the Austrian company points out that a constructive dialogue with NGOs and other organizations interested remains the main objective of Holzindustrie Schweighofer.

The international organization Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) announced on February 17 that it had withdrawn certification for wood processed by the Austrian group, when FSC managers received a petition signed by over 250,000 activists from three countries (Germany, Austria and Romania).

Following that decision, the wood illegally cut in Romanian forests will no longer be certified at sustainable and will not be sold under FSC seal in international markets. FSC considers that extending the trial period for Schweighofer was not acceptable when the company does not observe sustainability standards.

The do-it-yourself retailer Hornbach said at the end of 2016 that it would stop collaboration with Holzindustrie Schweighofer as of January 2017 for the sale of construction wood.

In its turn, Leroy Merlin, one of the most important do-it-yourself retailers in the world and one of the market leaders in Romania, announced on Wednesday that it had stopped collaboration with companies which do not have FSC and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certifications. The company mentioned that the replacement process for unlisted products will extend on no more than 3 months and that negotiations with new suppliers had already begun.

Holzindustrie Schweighofer opened the first timber factory in Romania in 2003 in Sebes. The company and has been operating locally two other timber factories in Radauti and Reci, a wood pannel factory in Siret and another one in Comanesti, generating 3,000 jobs in those locations directly and about 10,000 jobs indirectly in connected industries.

A timber factory in Germany has been part of the group since October 2015.