Swedish company IKEA has found an alternative to sourcing timber from Belarus and Russia. Previously, these countries ranked fifth and sixth in terms of supply, says Ulf Johansson, wood supply manager.
"We have been able to replace Russian and Belarusian volumes with supplies from other countries in a very hot timber market," Reuters quoted Johansson.
The company's main timber suppliers will now be Poland, Lithuania and Sweden. These countries were among the top three suppliers in the 12 months to August 2022.
In the long term, IKEA is also not considering sourcing wood from Belarus and Russia, Johansson added.
At the end of 2022, IKEA was involved in a high-profile international scandal: media in Germany and France published an investigation into the company's cooperation with prisons in Belarus. Prison labor, including that of political prisoners, was used to produce furniture. The company responded that it had broken off contractual relations with Belarus after introducing EU sanctions in October 2020.
After the investigation was published, Belarusian political exile Piort Markelau held a protest against IKEA's activities in a Czech store.