French home improvements firm under fire

Greenpeace claims Lapeyre "broke promise" to label timber products from ancient forests

French-owned home improvements firm, Lapeyre, broke a promise to label timber products from ancient forests, Greenpeace has claimed. The group last week staged demonstrations at retail outlets owned by the chain in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain accusing Lapeyre of contributing to "Amazon destruction". The company has over 110 outlets in the four countries.

As part of a campaign to protect ancient forests worldwide, Greenpeace last year called on Lapeyre to label all timber products from ancient tropical and non-tropical forests by botanical name and country of origin. It claims that Lapeyre "publicly" pledged to do this by January but now says the firm has failed to do so. A Lapeyre spokesperson today denied Greenpeace's accusations but refused to comment further.

For its part, Greenpeace renewed calls for Lapeyre to "urgently" introduce labelling of timber from ancient forests, to stop trading with companies "involved in illegal and destructive activities" and to "gradually phase out" the purchase of all timber from ancient forest destruction. The group says all wood products should carry an independently verified certificate of sustainability. A spokesperson compared Lapeyre's performance, plus that of most of the rest of Europe's home improvements industry, unfavourably with Swedish-based Ikea, which last year pledged to stop using ancient forest timber (ENDS Daily 25 November 1999).

Follow Up:
Greenpeace International, tel: +31 20 422 3344; Lapeyre, tel: +33 1 48 11 74 00.

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