PORTO, PORTUGAL -- March 28 -- Activists from Greenpeace and Quercus today have taken action to close the main gate of Vicaima near Porto in protest at the company's continued use of timber from illegal and destructive logging from the world's ancient forests. At 7am this morning 10 activists blockaded the entrance to the main factory and offices, preventing workers from entering the site. A banner reading 'Stop illegal timber, buy FSC' was hung across the entrance.|
Vicaima is one of the largest timber processors in Portugal and one of the largest door manufacturers in Europe. Vicaima products are sold in Spain, UK, France and Germany and other European countries. The company owns and buys most of its timber from Madeiporto, one of the timber companies due to purchase timber from the vessel Skyman, blockaded by Greenpeace and Quercus last week as it entered the Leixoes port carrying timber from companies involved in illegal logging in the Brazilian Amazon.
Greenpeace and Quercus are demanding that Vicaima immediately agree to halt any purchases of timber from companies convicted of illegal logging activities and obtain Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation (1) to enable the company to trade timber products that can be shown to come from well-managed forests.
"If the trade in illegal timber is to be stopped then companies like Vicaima have to change their ways. There can be no excuse for continuing to buy timber from illegal and destructive logging in the world's ancient forests", said Andy Tait of Greenpeace UK.
Luis Galrao from Quercus said, "As well as action from the Portuguese Government its essential that Portuguese timber companies also take action to tackle the illegal timber trade. They can do this by buying timber certified by the FSC".
At the end of 2004 Greenpeace and Quercus asked a number of Portuguese timber importers to sign statements in support the campaign for EU legislation to stop the import of illegal timber. Vicaima did not respond to correspondence
Notes to Editor:
(1) The Forest Stewardship Council certification system for timber and timber products provides an internationally recognized, credible system to ensure that wood is obtained from forests managed to strong ecological and social criteria.