Result: Jewson takes Amazon timber off the shelves and launches investigation

Posted by Richardg — 13 June 2014 at 12:43pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: GREENPEACE

The timber merchant Jewson - the only high street store where you can buy Amazon timber - has agreed to put all sales on hold while it investigates its suppliers. It's a good start - but we need to keep up the pressure.

We're taking on the criminal loggers that are looting the Amazon rainforest. Most logging in the Amazon is illegal, so we were shocked to discover patio decking made from rare Amazon trees on sale in Jewson.

In just a couple of weeks, over 80,000 of us demanded Jewson take this dodgy decking off its shelves. The company tried to bluff its way out, telling us it was confident its timber was legit because its Brazilian suppliers had shown it some official paperwork.

We knew better. Loggers routinely use fraud to get their hands on paperwork like this. It's called timber laundering, and it's par for the course in that part of Brazil. 

And when we googled Jewson's suppliers, we found £2 million in fines for illegal logging and forest destruction. Both companies even had convictions for selling timber with fake papers - the very papers that Jewson said proved its timber wasn't illegal.

Faced with this overwhelming evidence, and a growing public backlash, Jewson did the right thing.

It decided to find out just what it had got itself into, hiring people in Brazil to check out its suppliers. It won't be selling any more Amazon timber until that audit is over. The UK government is also investigating Jewson and other companies buying and selling Amazon timber.

This is a great start - but we're not out of the woods completely.

Jewson says that if its investigation clears its suppliers, it might go on selling garden decking made from the Amazon rainforest. Obviously there's no way that could happen, because no reputable company would knowingly buy Amazon timber from convicted criminals.

But just to be on the safe side, we'll be watching very closely. If the audit turns out to be a whitewash, of course, we won't let Jewson get away with it.

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