Industry News

Roseburg Assists with Okoume Veneer Investigation

Monday, March 18, 2019

Roseburg Forest Products is cooperating with authorities in the investigation of Okoume veneer imported from Africa by two companies: Cornerstone Forest Products (Cornerstone) and Evergreen Hardwoods (Evergreen). Roseburg first learned about the situation on Monday, March 11, when a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agent contacted our legal team about an investigation the agency is conducting into Okoume veneer sourced from Gabon and the Republic of Congo.

As one of Cornerstone and Evergreen’s many customers, Roseburg purchases Okoume veneer for use in some of our siding products. Before the March 11 phone call from HSI, Roseburg was not aware of alleged issues with Okoume veneer imported by these suppliers.

Roseburg has a robust compliance program to mitigate the risk of noncompliance with the Lacey Act. As part of that program, Roseburg requires all wood fiber suppliers to abide by our Fiber Procurement Policy and sign our Standard Application and Agreement, which mandate that all fiber sold to Roseburg be taken, possessed, transported and sold in compliance with the Lacey Act. Roseburg’s Lacey Act due diligence does not stop with certifications. With the assistance of third party experts in supply chain compliance, DoubleHelix Tracking Technologies (DoubleHelix), Roseburg proactively audits suppliers to assess compliance and mitigate risk.

In the summer and fall of 2018, on Roseburg’s behalf, DoubleHelix conducted supply chain risk assessments and compliance audits of both Cornerstone and Evergreen. These audits were conducted as a proactive step initiated by Roseburg, not due to any concerns or complaints regarding the two companies’ services.

As part of the audits, DoubleHelix conducted full, boots-on-the-ground, onsite supply chain audits of Okoume veneer sourced from the Republic of Congo (onsite Aug. 14, 2018) and Gabon (onsite July 30, 2018). The audits investigated country, species, supply chain, market and other external factors. The results of both audits were favorable, with no findings of Lacey Act violations and only a few risk mitigation findings, all of which were reported resolved to Roseburg’s satisfaction.

Based on these standard industry and proactive due diligence practices, Roseburg has no information that indicates any illegal activity by Cornerstone and Evergreen. Roseburg will cooperate fully with the authorities’ investigation into Cornerstone and Evergreens’ supply chain practices. While that investigation continues, Cornerstone and Evergreen have reassured Roseburg that they have ceased all shipments of Okoume veneer from Gabon and the Republic of Congo. Roseburg has ended the use of the veneer in question in the production of its products, and is no longer selling products manufactured with veneer provided by the named suppliers. Roseburg will closely monitor the investigation and determine any impact on its overall procurement relationships with Cornerstone and Evergreen as this matter develops.

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