Lumber Liquidators’s non-response “response” on illegal Amazon timber
by Daniel Brindis
May 22, 2014
Last week Greenpeace released the results of a two year investigation that outlined ties between Lumber Liquidators Brazilian suppliers and illegal logging. Lumber Liquidators still does not seem to understand the problems related to Brazilian Amazon timber and the company isn’t taking it seriously enough.
The company has issued a statement called the “LL Promise” regarding Brazilian timber in response to our report. Unfortunately Lumber Liquidators did not issue a comprehensive forest policy with real criteria, nor has it announced that it will suspend purchases from Para state in Brazil, where it is estimated that 78% of the logging is done illegally.
Lumber Liquidators claims that it checks suppliers for environmental compliance, but how does the company explain that one of its primary suppliers, Pampa Exportacoes, has ties to illegal logging and has been cited with 1 million USD in environmental fines for trading unauthorized timber? This supplier also has a pending court case related to trading illegal timber which was filed just months ago.
Lumber Liquidators’ empty promises stem from the fact that it does not understand that the official documentation, which the company relies on for proof that its wood purchases are legal, are often used fraudulently. That means Lumber Liquidators doesn’t actually know where its Brazilian wood comes from or how it was logged, regardless of whether or not the documentation is authentic.
As Marion Cotillard demonstrates in the animation Greenpeace released today- the system is easily defrauded. See below.
Here is a diagram showing how Lumber Liquidators’ suppliers are tied to businesses that have served as channels for laundered illegal timber. As you can see, Lumber Liquidators is connected to two of the case studies Greenpeace documented, Ceser Busnelloand the Virola-Jatob Sustainable Development Project.