Hornbach to end collaboration with Holzindustrie Schweighofer

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Hornbach has announced that it will end its cooperation with Austrian timber producer Holzindustrie Schweighofer starting January 2017.

The German DIY retailer wants to cease the sale of Schweighofer's construction and planed wood in its Romanian stores, according to the Romanian daily Romania Insider.

“We want our suppliers and business partners to respect the principles of responsible forestry,” said Mugurel-Horia Rusu, director general Hornbach Romania.

According to Romania Insider, Holzindustrie Schweighofer has been accused of processing wood from illegal logging. Last year, after an international organization presented evidence that the company was encouraging illegal logging in Romania, the Ministry of Environment decided to check Holzindustrie Schweighofer’ factories in Sebes and Radauti, and at the headquarters of the company’s main timber suppliers.

Thus, the inspectors found that the group worked with several companies that supplied timber without legal forms that may have come from illegal logging. Holzindustrie Schweighofer denied the accusations and claimed that they would work with the Romanian authorities regarding the matter.

"We work closely with our suppliers to prove the origin of the wood and prevent the existence in our offer of products made of wood coming from illegal or uncertain sources. For this reason, we’ve always been in close dialogue with Schweighofer and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). We have watched carefully the re-certification process of Schweighofer and we have decided to stop working with this company on the construction and planed wood segment," said Hornbach Romania’s general manager, as quoted by Romania Insider. 

The German retailer has already found a supplier for replacing Schweighofer and as the company’s internal business code asks, the wood coming from regions outside the EU must have the FSC certification. For the wood coming from the EU, the European law applies.

Hornbach currently runs 154 mixed stores in in nine countries in Europe, with six of them being located in Romania. The group ended the 2015/2016 financial year with a net turnover of over EUR 3.75 billion, up some 5% year-on-year.

Holzindustrie Schweighofer had a turnover of EUR 447 million and a net profit of EUR 46 million, in 2015 and is currently the biggest timber producer in Romania.

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