This morning, Greenpeace activists from all over Brazil and the US halted the operations of a Brazilian timber exporter, Pampa Exportacoes, in Belém, Para. Pampa Exportacoes’s primary international customer is Lumber Liquidators, the largest national flooring retailer. This happened today, after Greenpeace published a two year investigation on illegal logging in the Amazon.
The exporter has been fined by the government, to the tune of about one million USD. It has purchased timber from saw mills that are known to have processed laundered illegal timber. Over the last five years, the government has issued nearly 80 million USD in fines to saw mill suppliers overall.
Activists brandished banners that said “Lumber Liquidators: Don’t buy Amazon Crime,” “Laundering Timber for Export,” and “Crime.”
Uncontrolled logging in the Amazon is happening now. Customers of Brazilian wood products have no assurances that their wood is coming from legal sources. Lumber Liquidators markets itself on outlets like National Public Radio (NPR) as a sustainable flooring option. If the company really cared about sustainability it would make itself a leading example and clean its supply chain. It would not simply trust the paperwork of a broken system.