AGENDA of Main Events
subject: Teakwood, author: Paul Romeijn
date: July 18, 1996


This agenda is made to serve as a reference sheet to those who follow the public debate on the Teakwood programme. It highlights some of the materials on file at Treemail's office.

Although the materials have been compiled and translated with due care, Treemail fully disclaims any responsibility as to the correctness of its contents and refers the readership to the original documents.

The principal players in the debate:

Teakwood: This is an investment programme in teak plantations in Costa Rica. The programme was started in 1989 by Dutch owned Flor y Fauna S.A. who independently sold the projects called Teakwood I-V to Dutch investors until 1993. In 1993 Flor y Fauna was joined by OHRA insurance company and WWF-NL for the plantation projects called Teakwood VI, VII and VIII.

The principal Teakwood contract partners are: Van Rossum van Veen of The Netherlands as chief advisors to the Teakwood programme; Flor y Fauna S.A. of Costa Rica as managers of the plantations; OHRA insurance company to operate as a sales agency for a financial product that ties the teak investment to a life insurance policy; and WWF-NL (The Netherlands branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature) as endorsing agency with an important PR and sales function (e.g. the sales brochure of 1993 refers to WWF's role in sale of Teakwood's end-products as: "Of course, a buyer must be found for this product in advance. The collaboration with WWF will make this easier and can probably lead to even higher returns for the investors, according to the programme's initiators." The Teakwood VI brochure portrays the WWF Panda logo on its cover).

Rainforest Alliance: The Rainforest Alliance is based in the USA, and has certified the Flor y Fauna plantations in 1995. The Teakwood plantations were thereby recognized as 'well-managed' under the Rainforest Alliance's 'Smart Wood' programme, thus allowing the plantation's produce to carry the 'Smart Wood' label.

FSC: The Forest Stewardship Council was established as a legal entity on October 25, 1995, is based in Mexico, and accredits certifying agencies. As of end of February 1996, the FSC has accredited the first four certifying agencies, including the Rainforest Alliance. This accreditation does not include plantation forestry at the time of writing of this agenda.

Prof. Dr. J.C. Centeno: WWF-NL commissioned a report on the economic analysis of the Teakwood plantations in 1993 to Prof. J.C. Centeno of Venezuela. Treemail: The Dutch television programme NOVA approached Treemail, a forestry advisory company based in The Netherlands, to provide information for a broadcast on the Teakwood programme. In the programme, NOVA interviewed Treemail's Director Paul Romeijn.

The incorrect claim to an 'FSC certificate':

One key-issue of the debate is the claim to a certificate for the Flor y Fauna plantations supposedly issued by the Forest Stewardship Council.

This claim was made by Flor y Fauna at the occasion of a court hearing on December 28, 1996.

This claim was made by WWF-NL in a book that was written, printed and put in circulation in 1995 (ISBN 90-74595-07-3). The WWF book is adorned by the (new) FSC accreditation logo on its front cover.

OHRA printed and distributed this claim millions of times in its advertisements over the period between August 19, 1995 and November 30, 1995, according to its own memo of February 2, 1996.

Before, during and after this period, another version of these advertisements for the Teakwood investment scheme was circulated. The sole difference between the two versions is that the text 'Rainforest Alliance' replaces the text 'Forest Stewardship Council' when referring to Teakwood's certificate.

In the advertisement, the text under the header Eco- Certificate reads as follows: "The Teakwood plantation Flor y Fauna has recently received the official certificate of 'well managed' plantation from the Forest Stewardship Council (or the Rainforest Alliance, depending on the version), and is thereby the first have plantation grown tropical timber with an eco-certificate."

This agenda does not deal with the reference to an 'eco- certificate' for Flor y Fauna, of which Treemail is not aware of any substantiation by the Teakwood partners. This agenda refers only to the claim of the Flor y Fauna plantations having been 'FSC-certified'.

The (draft) 'Manual for evaluation and accreditation of certification bodies' of January 1996 (FSC Document #2.1), on page 86, states that type of use of the FSC accreditation logo as in the WWF publication "can only be made with prior, written consent of the FSC." The FSC announced this accreditation logo in FSC Notes of January 1996, Vol.1, Issue 2, where it reads: "correct use is controlled by legally binding contracts and will be protected by legal action."



[note: near to all the written communications referred to below have been transmitted per E-mail or fax]

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NOVA broadcasts Teakwood over Dutch national television.


The Greens in the Dutch Parliament submit 6 questions on the Teakwood case to Ministers of Agriculture and Finance.


OHRA informs NOVA in writing that expected yields are in the order of 400-850 m3/ha over the 20 year cycle, and this is "without doubt" according to their scientists.


OHRA's Board Director Huesmann writes personalized letter to Teakwood investors where he projects 11- 25% rates of return to investors.


Van Weezendonk files case of misleading advertisements against 5 teak investment schemes at the Standards Advertising Committee. OHRA requests and receives time for refuting, this allows for preparation of CCT summary report.


Prof. J. Centeno reports to FSC Director T. Synnott on possible claim to FSC certification having been made for the Flor y Fauna plantation.


Treemail presents WWF-INT forestry officer Per Rosenberg a video copy of the NOVA broadcast and of one of the OHRA advertisements containing the claim to 'FSC certification' obtained by the Flor y Fauna plantation (and as reported by Treemail to FSC Director T. Synnott on December 20, 1995, and to SW Director R. Donovan on January 7, 1996).


Ministers of Agriculture and Finance answer to the questions from the Greens in Parliament of November 24, 1995.


FSC Director T. Synnott phones to Treemail's office. The fictitious claim 'FSC certified' for the Flor y Fauna plantations is discussed at length. During the conversation T. Synnott ascertains and is assured that Treemail perfectly understands the terminology 'endorsed', 'accredited', 'certified' and the distinction between 'a possible claim to FSC or Smart Wood certification' and that there is mutual agreement that there is no misunderstanding whatsoever about the exact nature of the fictitious claim
[note: witnessed by G.Ch. Kiel, international forestry expert, at Treemail office].


OHRA's adjunct Director Janssen informs Treemail per fax that copies of the FSC certificate can be obtained from Flor y Fauna, in response to a request by Treemail to OHRA of December 15, 1995.


Following the telephone conversation of December 20, 1995, FSC Director Synnott informs Treemail per fax that "the FSC Board cannot yet approve the certificates for plantations in the absence of the new Plantation P&C.", and: "We believe that the Flor y Fauna evaluation and report was thorough and competent."


Court case Flor y Fauna S.A. against Van Weezendonk's reputed libel in his statements in NOVA broadcast. in The Hague. Tomlow, Van Weezendonk's legal advisor, distributes notes to court, including a copy of the 'Centeno report' to journalists. Flor y Fauna claims 'official FSC certificate' for their plantations in court (which Treemail reports to FSC Director T. Synnott on same day). At the hearing, Flor y Fauna did not once mention an organization called Rainforest Alliance, or its 'Smart Wood' certificate.

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Le Vif/L' Express reports that tropical tree investments schemes have been spreading into Flanders, and are now active in the French speaking part of Belgium.


Treemail informs Smart Wood Director, with copy to FSC Director, that: "I regret to inform you that your interventions have not succeeded in preventing F&F stating in court on 28 December 1995 that F&F plantations have been officially certified by the FSC ...". This letter is later referred to by the Smart Wood Director as part of the listing of communications of January 28, 1996
[note: cross- reference with FSC announcement of June 25, 1996].


FSC Director T. Synnott copies letter to SW Director R. Donovan to Treemail office. Quote: "I expect you will be asking OHRA why they stated in public that the F&F plantations have been certified by the FSC.", and: "Richard: I expect that this issue can be sorted out without too much harm. We also anxiously await your decision on whether the Rainforest Alliance is willing to sign the [accreditation, Treemail's note] contracts.", and : "Paul: Thank you very much for keeping us informed, and for working at damage-control."


Ruling on case Flor y Fauna versus Van Weezendonk, libel case dismissed, and judge condemns Teakwood to cover legal costs.


Van Weezendonk adds incorrect FSC certification claim for the Flor y Fauna plantations to his complaint at the Standards Advertising Committee.


Prof. J. Centeno suggests to FSC Director T. Synnott to the FSC should request a public disclaimer from the Rainforest Alliance to the effect that the certificate they issued does not in any way imply an endorsement by the FSC; with copy to SW Director R. Donovan.


Ir. P. Hulsebosch reports to the internet forestry list about a red code (ie instructions to remain silent) issued by DGIS to Costa Rica based sector specialist for the environment Ir. J. Bauer. This was never refuted by DGIS, or by its forestry advisors at IKC-NBLF (part of the Ministry of Agriculture) who are subscribers to the list.


Coordinator W. Kloppenburg of the Foundation BOS makes written suggestion to OHRA to 'reconsider the financial product Teakwood'
[note: co-reference the agenda's entry for January 31, 1996].


Prof. J. Centeno writes to FSC's Board Director B. Cabarly that: "It seems appropriate in this case for the FSC to request a public disclaimer from OHRA. The lack of reaction by the FSC to these statements
[note: this refers to the fictional claim to FSC certification for the Flor y Fauna plantations] can only be considered an endorsement by the FSC of OHRA's untruthful claim."


Prof. J. Centeno requests support from Minister Pronk of The Netherlands for an opportunity to speak in The Netherlands, and this request is copied to HRH Prince Bernhard.


Press release "Setting the record straight, the teak sword swings again" by Prof. Dr. J.C. Centeno distributed to ANP, The Netherlands Associated Press service. This press release includes reference to the incorrect claim to FSC certification for the Flor y Fauna plantations. The press release is circulated over the internet forestry list.


Smart Wood Director states in generic letter to have "seen no documented evidence that they have represented the certification in any other way." when referring to possible claim to "FSC certification' made for the Flor y Fauna plantations (instead of 'Rainforest Alliance certified'). This letter was copied to Treemail's office per fax on January 30, 1996, and to Prof. J. Centeno's office on February 1, 1996.


FSC Director T. Synnott informs Treemail in a fax message that: "It is unfortunate that OHRA referred to the plantations as being FSC certified. The expression FSC certified is inaccurate and premature. The possibility of a certified enterprise making misleading public claims is in first instance, a matter for the certifier. Therefore Rainforest Alliance is pursuing the matter, in close communication with the FSC [ref: agenda entry for March 11, 1996 and June 25, 1996]."


Treemail sends a copy of advertisement to FSC containing the incorrect FSC certification claim, with notification to Smart Wood Director R. Donovan (who received similar copy faxed directly to their office on February 2, 1996; also see notes in this agenda of January 28, 1996 and March 11, 1996). The letter states: "I hope we can all agree that as of this moment further ignorance of this OHRA claim in their advertisements will be labelled as silly by all others from now till ever after."


FSC's Director T. Synnott informs A. van Kreveld and W. Braakhekke, both WWF-NL, in a fax ("designed for your support and use, as appropriate", according to the letter) that: "The Rainforest Alliance Smartwood Program is one of four certification programs which the FSC has evaluated and approved for accreditation as an independent certification body", and: "Accreditation contracts will refer only to certification of natural forests."


WWF-NL Director of Conservation W. Braakhekke communicates to Professor Centeno (with copies to HRH Prins Bernhard of The Netherlands, Minister Pronk, WWF-NL Chairman Nijpels, FSC and Rainforest Alliance) that WWF-NL research has failed to identify one single instance of Flor y Fauna claim to a certification by the FSC
[note: This is precisely the issue of a complaint before the Standards Advertising Committee, as per January 10, 1996]. This letter is later made public by OHRA's use in defence before a hearing at the Standards Advertising Committee on March 26, 1996.


topOHRA threatens Stichting BOS with legal action [see: this agenda's note of January 23, 1996].


Internal OHRA memo counts well over 1.5 Million incorrect advertisements of FSC certification for Flor y Fauna plantation, and a mailing of 127,000 to potential investors.


"Teak controversy flares up in The Netherlands" distributed over forestry list by Prof. Dr. J.C. Centeno.


OneWorld Online publishes "WWF endorsed teakwood scandal hits tropical timber market" on


OHRA threatens Prof. Dr. J.C. Centeno with legal action.


FSC Board decides to ask the FSC Secretariat to request correction from OHRA and WWF-NL for incorrect claim to FSC certificate for Flor y Fauna plantations "in their respective brochures and other places where the original misstatements circulated
[note: consult agenda entry for April 3, 1996, on how this Board decision is reflected in correspondence from the FSC Secretariat to OHRA]".


The Greens in the Dutch Parliament submit second round of questions on the Teakwood case, this time to Ministers of Agriculture, Finance and Foreign Aid
[note: see agenda entry for March 29, 1996, for Ministerial response].


Prof. Dr. J.C. Centeno takes up residence at Tomlow lawyers office in the Netherlands to facilitate legal action to be taken by OHRA.


WWF spokesperson Marie Christine Reusken states in articles of GPD (e.g. as reported in the newspapers 'De Brabander' and 'De Gelderlander) that "Flor y Fauna received a certificate from the Forest Stewardship Council in Mexico."


Treemail distributes extra info on "Teak controversy in The Netherlands" over the forestry list. This message contains excerpts from the 1993 bailiff report and Flor y Fauna's provisional yield table.


Elsevier Magazine states: "Flor y Fauna is the first teak plantation that supposedly received a certificate issued by the so-called Forest Stewardship Council, FSC. The claim is important, for such a certificate would furnish the project with the essential credibility. In addition, WWF-NL has made swift certification conditional to joining the Teakwood programme. All the more painful to mother organization WWF and WWF-INT that, as it appears now, the claim is untrue. OHRA, Flor y Fauna, nor any other party involved can claim an FSC issued certificate." and: "Salient detail: WWF is one of the main sponsors to the FSC."


Distribution over the forestry list of excerpts from Professor Oldeman's "Notes on measuring procedure 'Huizinga & Groot'".


FSC announces accreditation of the first four certification bodies. Plantation forestry is explicitly excluded from this FSC accreditation.


FSC Director T. Synnott announces launch of the worldwide FSC timber logo (for independent eco- friendly forest products) on RTL-4 Dutch television news broadcast.


Smart Wood Director R. Donovan releases an open letter entitled 'preliminary comments on Centeno observations and Rainforest Alliance certification of Flor y Fauna'. For months on end, R. Donovan fails to communicate a copy of this open letter to Professor Centeno in spite of repeated requests, and even though this document clearly states "cc: Julio Centeno".

This open letter states: "We request that any individual contact us if they have specified DOCUMENTED situations where misleading information is being presented on either Smart Wood, the FSC or Smart Wood certification on Flor y Fauna. Please contact us immediately. To be fair to all concerned, verbal statements are not sufficient; we need documented evidence [ref: agenda's entry of January 30, and February 2, 1996]."


topArticle "Blasting the FSC in The Netherlands" distributed over forestry list by Prof. Dr. J.C. Centeno.


Intermediair (weekly) reports shipment of 'FSC certified timber' to have been unloaded at Rotterdam ports, reports 5 Million ha of FSC certified forests worldwide, and in same article interviews Gemma Boetekees (FoE-NL, and later FSC-NL office holder) and Arnold van Kreveld (WWF-NL).


Teakwood press conference hosted by OHRA and WWF-NL, in presence with Costa Rican Minister of Environment and Energy R. Castro. Presentation of CCT summary report and KPMG report.


Costa Rica's Prime Minster J.M. Figueres and Minister of Environment and Energy R. Castro joins in with Teakwood representatives at a round table conference on "Reforestation investments in Costa Rica", organized in cooperation between the Costa Rican Embassy in the Netherlands and the foundation Eco Operation (DGIS funded institution to execute the bilateral environmental treaty between the two countries).


The Tico Times, an English language newspaper for Central America, publishes an interview with Rainforest Alliance's Smart Wood Director R. Donovan. Quotes: 'Smart Wood now admits it didn't investigate the company's financial projections and its advisors are disputing the plantation's growth projections. Donovan said he believes Flor y Fauna's higher projections are not realistic, but that "the lower rates are possible".' and: 'Donovan confessed that he himself would have doubts about investing with OHRA in a teak farm in Costa Rica.'


FSC publishes public statement on certification, which includes a reference that any claim to plantations being certified by FSC to be a 'double mistake'.


Smart Wood Director R. Donovan releases statement on Flor y Fauna certification, with a copy to the forestry list. Here the Smart Wood Director again claims not to have been able to identify a single document containing a claim to 'FSC certification' after having studied the materials [see notes of January 28, 30 and 31, and February 22, 1996)]. R. Donovan adds to be "in almost daily contact with the FSC Secretariat" over the Teakwood case [also consult with agenda entry for May 11, 1996].

The statement claims: "Smart Wood is now working to verify Flor y Fauna's advertising claims with respect to FSC and/or Smart Wood. If deliberately misleading claims have been made by others, then appropriate actions will be taken."
[note: The Smart Wood Director here reiterates the impression that it is Smart Wood and not the FSC that is investigating the incorrect claim of FSC certification for the Flor y Fauna plantations. This is congruent with a letter by FSC Director T. Synnott to Treemail of January 29, 1996. However, the FSC issues a public statement on June 25, 1996 to the contrary. There the FSC announces that only the issue of the growth and yield projections "is being dealt with by the Rainforest Alliance".]


"World record on teak yield: truth or trickery?" distributed over forestry list by Prof. Dr. J.C. Centeno.


Ministers answer to second round of questions from the Greens in the Parliament. Minister of Finance is not willing to exert control over teak investment schemes. Workshop on Dutch plantation investment schemes in developing countries as commissioned by DGIS to the Foundation BOS is cancelled. Prof. J.C. Centeno is not invited to The Netherlands by Minister Pronk
[note: At the time of publication of this agenda, DGIS still fails to communicate the nature of this decision to Prof. J.C. Centeno. Cross reference this agenda's entry for January 25, 1996].top


FSC Director T. Synnott informs OHRA on the claim to FSC certification for Flor y Fauna that: "We urge to ensure that statements of this kind are withdrawn immediately. [see agenda entries February 6, 1996 and of June 25, 1996]"


Treemail communicates to key-FSC Board members and the FSC Secretariat [cross reference: FSC statement of June 25, 1996]:
"End of December 1995 Tim Synnott phoned our office and convinced himself that I understood perfectly well the distinction between certification and endorsement, which is not too hard for someone who was brought up bi-lingual and was later trained as a tropical forester. I have never, to my knowledge, confused these terms neither in English or in Dutch. We have seen many euphemisms used to smoothen mis-information produced intentionally by F&F, WWF-NL, OHRA and van Rossum van Veen, including some of these statements originating from Oaxaca. Examples of such statements are: unfortunate, premature, mistake, slip of the pen, and now possibly a language difficulty.

Intentional? Yes, because even after being confronted with the misleading nature of the statements, WWF-NL -as I quoted- still maintained use of FSC certified to the press. And yes, since WWF-NL brochure, OHRA advertisements and F&F statements in court skipped any mention of RA when elaborating the subject. Nor will it suffice for RA to investigate Flor y Fauna advertisements, since we all know quite well that advertising for Teakwood is done by OHRA, and not by Flor y Fauna. And even more yes, since Teakwood is backed by a scientific advisory board whose members are all perfectly capable of understanding these issues and of handling any of the possible language barriers between Dutch and English that you refer to. Also, this hide and seek game was prolonged for months as parties were unable to find statements produced by OHRA and WWF-NL that were printed and distributed over 1,500,000 times or to verify statements made in court; and is apparently even maintained after Treemail faxed copies of same to RA and FSC."


Wageningen University Newspaper, WUB, publishes major article on Teakwood.


A.J.M. Wouters is advanced to the much higher position of interim Director of the Directorate Science and Knowledge Transfer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries, a key position for controlling these budget lines for the Agricultural University of Wageningen and the cluster of agricultural research institutions 'DLO' (ref: 'Wagenings Alumniblad', June 6, 1996).

A.J.M. Wouters is the author of an official report on the Teakwood plantations by the Ministry of Agriculture. Meanwhile, it has surfaced that he is also the President of Flor y Fauna's scientific advisory board. The fact of this collaboration was not declared when the author presented his declarations of support of the Teakwood programme before several courts. The Ministerial report has lost its pretence of independence, as claimed by WWF-NL's Director S. Woldhek in a letter to the editor in the national newspaper NRC, published on December 30, 1993, where he announced this report as an "independent and professional evaluation of the project"
[note: cross reference Treemail's publication over the internet forestry list of June 5, 1996].

Professor J. Centeno notes the following on this document (ref: The elusive nature of forest management certification claims, June 20, 1996):
"As late as December of 1995, Flor & Fauna introduced as evidence in a court of law a document from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Netherlands, dated December 28, 1993 [Reference 9], where the MINIMUM expected yield for these plantations is established at 1,057 M3 per hectare during the 20 year rotation period. This implies a MINIMUM mean annual increment of nearly 53 M3 per hectare per year!!

The same document was introduced as evidence by OHRA to the Reclame Code Commissie in January of 1996.
[note (by Prof. Centeno): This document has proved to be an embarrassment to the Ministry of Agriculture, due to its speculative nature, to its lack of professionalism, and to the inclusion of such an array of elementary mistakes that would flunk first year forestry students at any University]"
[note: also see this agenda's entry of February 18, 1996]


Questions in Parliament to the Minister of Finance raised by VVD, a political party that is coalition member of the Dutch Government, as a result of publicity surrounding ostrich farming, diamond and teak investment schemes, and calling for effective control by the Minister
[note: agenda entry on Ministers answers for May 30, 1996].


FSC's newly opened NL office sends generic mailing, with introductory letter of April 9, 1996. Enclosed in the mailing is a report on the FSC Board meeting of early February, with the Board's decision to request rectification of incorrect claim to FSC certification for Flor y Fauna plantations to WWF-NL and OHRA. Enclosed is the Smart Wood statement on certification of Flor y Fauna of March 11, 1996. The mailing does not contain FSC's March 11, 1996 statement.


Symposium presentation by Paul Romeijn at University of Twenthe. DGIS representative and speaker at the symposium Ph.J. Bastiaenen informs symposium public that DGIS has had no ties or dealings whatsoever with


DGIS publishes an article entitled "OHRA does not mislead investors"
[note: published in the May 1996 issue of 'Internationale Samenwerking', the official magazine of the public information service on international cooperation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; cross reference with agenda's entry for May 9, 1996].


The Standards Advertising Committee rules on complaints against five teak investment schemes, including Teakwood.


Flor y Fauna submits their first and only contribution to forest mailing list, and announce circulation of an English translation of an article in Money "shortly" (which never materialized).


Francis Sullivan, WWF-UK, informs Treemail's office that: "I have been following these developments closely in my capacity as a member of the FSC Board and in view of the involvement of WWF Netherlands. I understand that there is full involvement of all interested parties within Holland and Costa Rica and that a solution appears to be emerging
[note: this may well be the solution emerging on June 25, 1996, as emergence at an earlier stage would still allow plaintiff at the Standards Advertising Committee to submit an exhibit of written evidence. Plaintiff can hereby only use a full 10 minutes. This is the time allocated to plaintiff for entire oral presentation before the Committee]."


Publication by Treemail of open letter to FSC's Director of the Board with question on independence of accrediting body (FSC) from timber producing entity (WWF-NL).


Ministry of Finance again rejects call for control of teak investments, in answer to questions by the VVD in Parliament (ref: NRC Handelsblad, May 31, 1996).


topTreemail publishes University of Twenthe Symposium presentation of April 18, 1996, over the forestry list.


WWF-INT declares ISO 14001 proposal "a sham certification system".


Publication of 'The elusive credibility of forest management certification claims' by Prof. J.C. Centeno over the forestry list.


FSC Secretariat makes a 'public statement' named "FSC/OHRA/WWF-Netherlands" available to OHRA and WWF-NL only (?) while referring to letter to OHRA referenced in agenda entry of April 3, 1996. This letter is used as exhibit by OHRA for the Standards Advertising Committee hearing of July 18, 1996
[note: compare with agenda entry of February 6, 1996 to see how the FSC Board decision on this subject has transpired into the FSC Secretariat's practice; and with the entry for May 11, 1996]; [second note: this 'public statement' by the FSC was copied to defendant OHRA, but not to plaintiff van Weezendonk or to anyone else that Treemail is aware of].

In its 'public statement' the FSC Secretariat states that: "During the period August 1995 to January 1996, a brochure published by WWF-Netherlands and several newspaper advertisements by OHRA linked FSC's name with the Flor y Fauna plantations and the Smart Wood certificate. They wrongly stated or implied that the plantations had been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. These statements were incorrect on two counts, because the FSC does not carry out certification, and because the FSC does not yet endorse or recognize the plantation certificates issued by FSC-accredited bodies
[note: the advertisements and the WWF publication referred to by the FSC Director contain no reference whatsoever to the Rainforest Alliance or its Smart Wood certificate and, in reality, only refer to a certificate issued by the FSC for the Flor y Fauna plantations]."

About OHRA, the FSC Director states that: "They soon discovered the error, but because of production times the statements appeared once more in a mailing distribution
[note: the last time the fictitious claim was made in mailing distributions is, according to OHRA, November 30, 1995]."

FSC Director sums up: "The FSC concludes that the mistakes made by WWF-Netherlands and OHRA were unintentional", and that the FSC is therefore "satisfied" [ref: consult and compare this with the agenda's entry for July 18, 1996, and with the references given for that entry; also cross- reference with note on Smart Wood release date March 11, 1996, and the entry for April 12, 1996]."

Please note the use of the key-word "UNINTENTIONAL" as the FSC Director's principal conclusion.


topHet Financieele Dagblad (the Financial Daily) announces transfer for WWF-NL public relations director F. Strietman, as per September 1, 1996.


Standards Advertising Committee hears the appeal in the Teakwood case. OHRA presents in evidence a letter from OHRA adjunct Director Janssen of April 24, 1996, to the FSC Secretariat. Janssen informs the FSC Director T. Synnott that: "Fairly quickly we discovered the error. As some leaflets were in production (with a lead time of some 8 weeks) these were issued in November 1995 with the same error in a limited mailing
[note: compare with Flor y Fauna's position voiced on December 28, 1995]."

OHRA thereby claims to have become aware of its fictitious claim somewhere within the eight weeks of the lead time of end of November 1995
[note: for WWF's declared position see agenda entry dated January 31, 1996; and entry for February 9, 1996].

For the same occasion, OHRA's legal representatives Ekelmans den Hollander write in defence on the certification complaint: "The mistake has been detected and corrected by the OHRA itself in January 1996, before
[note: the word 'before' appears underlined] the complaint was filed by van Weezendonk [ref: this complaint was filed on January 10, 1996; consult entries in this agenda of June 25, 1996 for FSC's conclusion and position, with note dated January 7, 1996, and with February 9, 1996 for WWF's subsequent comments to the media.]" In continuation, OHRA's legal representatives Ekelmans den Hollander write: "OHRA has always portrayed that it has been certified by the Rainforest Alliance." and: "OHRA stresses once more that it has itself discovered the mistake and that OHRA itself it has immediately corrected it itself."

Treemail (full copyright)
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