Does The Dutch Government Support Unfair Competition?

May 16th, 2014 | Posted by Michael Hermens

The current chairman of FSC Netherlands is Mr. R.J. Dekker of the well-known company “Royal Dekker”. This company is one of the oldest timber trading companies in The Netherlands and has for many years been at the forefront promoting legal and sustainable timber. I fully support and applaud Mr. Dekker and his company for their good efforts.
FSC Netherlands is closely associated with “The Borneo Initiative” (in short TBI) and “The Amazon Alternative” (in short TAA) and both organisations promote sustainable forestry management in Kalimantan, Indonesia and the Amazon. The Amazon Alternative ended this month but continues as http://www.idhsustainabletrade.com/hout-peru-tropical-timber-program under the “Sustainable Trade Initiative” (IDH by its Dutch abbreviation).
Royal Dekker started in 2003 operations in Bolivia and operates a timber processing plant under the name “Dekma”. Dekma is one of the main supporters of TAA and received financial aid from TAA and, as such from FSC. (One will not be too surprised that Dekma passed the FSC audit with a “strong performance” but that is not the point).
Of course there is nothing wrong with the above except that you might question the integrity of FSC Netherlands having a chairman who’s company benefits from their own programs that are financially supported by the IDH? And what I find worse is that the Dutch government financially supports both the TBI and TAA which might not be a big issue as long as the Dutch government equally supports other truly “independent” certification schemes like PEFC. But that is clearly not the case so indirectly the Dutch government support unfair competition?

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