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Ukraine PM pledges illegal logging crackdown after Earthsight exposé of IKEA

Denys Shmygal’s announcement came the same day officials confirmed a criminal investigation has been launched into a local forestry body used by Ikea's suppliers to source illegal wood.

20th July 2020

The report, Flatpacked Forests: Ikea’s illegal timber problem and the flawed green label behind it, revealed how illegal wood ended up in best-selling Ikea products sold in stores worldwide. These included the furniture giant’s popular Terje and Ingolf chairs. Products were certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the world’s leading green label for wood.

Speaking to Earthsight, Kaplunov said federal inspectors and local police raided Velyky Bychkiv SFE in mid-June over its logging activities. Inspectors identified “numerous violations” at the forestry enterprise, he added in a Facebook post published on Thursday.

Kaplunov confirmed that illegal ‘sanitary logging’, used to stop the spread of disease and pests, has continued in the area despite inspectors finding illegalities in 2018.

The 2018 inspection found that the SFE broke the law when issuing logging permits, resulting in widespread illegal forest clearances. This enabled firms to cut trees during the breeding season for rare species, when it is banned.

Earthsight’s 18-month investigation revealed that a major Ikea supplier, Ukrainian furniture manufacturer VGSM, was among those issued with illegal licences. Flatpacked Forests also uncovered evidence that the SFE allowed logging breaches to persist in 2019 and 2020.

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