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HS Timber Group: Statement on recent online articles about log measurements in Romania

HS Timber Group is a traditional wood processing company with Austrian origins and strong roots in Central and Eastern Europe. For decades, HS Timber Group has been a reliable partner in all markets - for customers, suppliers and employees. The company is committed to open and transparent communication.

In recent online articles, namely an online story by Austrian magazine “profil”, as well as in “Rise Project” and “OCCRP” online articles, entitled "Criticism in Romania: How a timber company from Austria cuts down trees", the role of HS Timber Group as this very kind of partner is massively questioned.

The stories contain a lot of false information. It is regrettable that untruths from anonymous sources are quoted, at the expense of correct and verifiable information from other reliable public sources.

Moreover, HS Timber Group provided extensive answers to the journalists, and our invitation to both "profil" and OCCRP to ascertain and understand the facts on the ground, and to discuss them with the involvement of external experts was declined. The offer to inspect the direct communication with the ministry was also rejected. Thus, the false accusation remains: HS Timber would buy longer logs without notification and enrich itself from these excess lengths of a few centimetres.

We refer here to the most important facts:

  • Saw logs are a non-standardised natural product, whereas industrially produced boards are standardised. In order to be able to cut a 4-metre board from a log, it is necessary to have a small excess length in the original product, to be able to compensate for irregularities during sawing, or shrinkage due to drying.
  • The measurement parameters are laid down in the contracts with the suppliers and are an integral part of pricing and invoicing when purchasing timber. There is no such thing as unpaid timber! HS Timber operates in accordance with the measurement standards of the timber industry worldwide. In Romania, we operate and measure the volume based on the Romanian national standard.
  • We document and measure according to the legal framework
  • Our measurement is based on calibrated and regularly checked 3D laser scanners, the measurement in the forest is performed by our suppliers by hand. We are the only company in Romania that rejects quantities of timber that exceed the legal tolerance; and, should this be the case, we immediately report it to the relevant authorities. This is a central and integral part of our action plan for a sustainable supply chain.
  • HS Timber offered the investigating journalists full access to the correspondence with the authorities, on-site visits and personal interviews with external and internal experts.

In order to create the highest possible transparency, HS Timber Group publishes all answers provided to the Austrian journalists on its German website. The statement proves one thing: HS Timber Group rejects with good reason all accusations, insinuations and slander.