Harvey Norman Baddies V Cuddly Koalas
An investigation by eco group Markets For Change has found the native koala is “being placed at greater risk of extinction due to the unsustainable logging of native forests it depends on for survival,” and sold to unsuspecting customers as ‘Naturally Australian’ flooring by Harvey Norman.
The eco group made the accusation at the furniture retailer yesterday as it released its latest report, which also accuses Forests New South Wales of facilitating the crimes against koalas at Boambee State Forest located at NSW North East
The remaining koala populations of coastal NSW are being placed at greater risk of extinction due to the unsustainable logging of the native forests that are home of the already endangered animal listed as a ‘vulnerable’ species in Queensland, ACT and NSW.
Harvey’s can source timber from native forests, as it does not have a publicly available procurement policy that prevents the purchase of such timber products.
“There is also insufficient labelling on the wood products the company sells,with extremely limited information detailing the timber species that products are made of, where such products are made andwhether or not they originate from plantations or native forests,” the report states.
Markets for Change’s says Harvey sells furniture made from native timber from Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia forestry through cheap manufacturing operations in China, yet claims its flooring products are sourced from “sustainable and renewable natural resources”.
Gerry Harvey declined to comment on the accusations but told the ABC the group was seeking to take advantage of his high profile.
The Australian Senate has called for much stronger protection measures for the koala, and although the recognition koalas are ‘vulnerable’ species offers a further “administrative layer of protection”, where logging operations are conducted under the Regional Forest Agreements (RFA’s), the Federal listing will have no meaningful effect.
|Markets for Change is calling on the retailer to phase out selling such products and to sell wood products made from sustainable sources.
Harvey Norman also needs to give their customers clear and accurate information about the source of their wood products.
But its not just retailers like Harvey that has raised the ire of the eco group:
Forty Winks, Snooze, Focus on Furniture, Everyday Living, Sleep City, Domayne, Freedom Furniture, Furniture Court, Furniture One, Bedshed and OzDesign all sell products made from native forest wood.This is not the first time the eco group has declared war on Harvey’s operation though.