Illegal wood at APP’s mill – now you see it, now you don’t

by Guest Blogger

March 19, 2012

Illegal ramin logs identified at APP's Indah Kiat Perawang pulp mill

Illegal ramin logs identified at APP's Indah Kiat Perawang pulp mill

BlogpostbyZul Fahmi, Greenpeace South East Asia

More than two weeks ago, Greenpeace submitted video evidence documenting illegal ramin logs at APP’s Indah Kiat mill to the Indonesian authorities – both the Ministry of Forestry and the National Police. Today, the Ministry of Forestry notified us that it intends to visit the mill. Meantime, ongoing monitoring indicates that the company has been engaged in a rapid clean-up operation, removing ramin from its logyards.

In public APP has neither confirmed or denied whether there is ramin at its mill. Instead, it claimed that a‘specialist team’has been sent in to investigate the issue – two weeks quicker off the mark than the Ministry. The findings have yet to be made public.

Greenpeace’s year-long investigation confirmed that APP’s claims to keep illegal timber out of it’s supply chain do not reflect reality. Ramin was documented throughout the mill logyards. Now, the Ministry’s failure to act immediately appears to have given APP time to ensure that the evidence disappears.

Whilst the authorities have been slow to act, many of APP’s customers have been quick off the mark. Last week, Mondi – a major player in the paper industry – confirmed to us in writing that it is now acting to remove any links to APP in its supply chain. You can read its statementhere. Danone is also moving, and has sent us an initial confirmation that it is suspending further purchases from APP. We have suspended the cyberaction against the company, pending further clarification of its policy.

Meanwhile in Australia, Collins Debden – a company APP controls via Nippecraft – hasconfirmed publicallythat it will no longer source paper from APP. This is a bold move by an APP subsidiary, and one that must set off serious alarm bells at APP HQ as it confirms just how ‘toxic’ the APP brand has become internationally.

In the UK, two publishers – Parragon Publishing and Constable & Robinson – have both stated that they will no longer use APP paper. Walmart China has also been in touch, to tell us it is no longer selling the APP copy paper we identified as containing rainforest fibre. Whilst this is a step forward, Walmart – like other international retailers in China – has not yet committed to phase out the sale of APP brands in its stores.

Shockingly, Xerox, Barnes & Noble (the US bookstore chain) and Countdown (a New Zealand supermarket chain) have failed to get the message that APP is a bad bet to do business with.

Help us to get these APP customers to stop buying from APP until the company reforms.

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