Another news documentary causing embarrassment to the FSC appears in its home country, exposing the questionable practices of certified companies. ARD’s Plus-minus programme travelled to Russian Karelia to inspect the forestry practices of IKEA subsidiary and timber supplier, Swedwood. What it found there was not pretty. As the documentary points out, Swedwood’s large clear-cuts in ‘old growth’ forest appear to breach FSC’s requirements concerning the treatment of High Conservation Value forest. The use of heavy machinery on vulnerable soils could have a lasting impact.
In response to the concerns raised in the piece, IKEA told Plus-minus that “we are taking these charges seriously and investigating them in-depth with the help of external FSC certifiers”. FSC-Watch is not quite sure what that means, given that the FSC appears to have given up any pretence of carrying out proper investigations of alleged breaches of the Principles and Criteria or other failings by the certifiers – and instead is asking the certifiers to investigate themselves. It will come as no surprise to regular FSC-Watch readers to know that Swedwood’s clear-cutting of old-growth forest was certified by the Rainforest Alliance SmartWood. A person identified in the documentary as the certifier responsible for the Swedwood certificate declines to be interviewed.
The full piece, with English sub-titles specially prepared for FSC-Watch by Pro-Regenwald is here: