By Tarjei Leer-Salvesen
In 1999, the Rainforest Foundation Norway revealed that Riviera had made outright forgeries of environmental certificates from the FSC, and put them on their garden furniture, which the company sells through its subsidiaries Riviera Fritid and Riviera Agentur. NorWatch has examined the FSC labels that Riviera put on its furniture collection for the year 2000. As it turns out, these certificates were not genuine either. Riviera had made them themselves, and the certificates were never approved by the certification company SmartWood, which is credited on the labels. Besides the SmartWood logo, the false certificates contained the FSC logo, a Chain of Custody number, details on the Indonesian producer, and the inscription 'Riviera Teak Collection'.
SmartWood says in a comment to NorWatch that they have contacted both Riviera and the producer of the furniture, the firm PT Artistika Cipta Kreasi in Indonesia. They have been asked to straighten matters out. However, SmartWood's Jeff Hayward says it is very peculiar that furniture from PT Artistika Cipta Kreasi is labelled with false certificates, because this factory does actually supply environment-certified furniture.
The factory's information flow system is messy, though, and Riviera does not take part in any form of cooperation with SmartWood. Riviera's home-made certificates are forgeries, and a clear violation of SmartWood's and the FSC's guidelines.
- This was a mistake and a misunderstanding between our producer and SmartWood. The factory and SmartWood have a dialogue on this, though, and it will be straightened out for the upcoming season, managing director Rolf Platou of Riviera Fritid explains.
Ironically, the forged certificates ended up labelling an environmentally sound product in the 2000 season.
"This was a mistake and a misunderstanding between our producer and SmartWood. The factory and SmartWood have a dialogue on this, though, and it will be straightened out for the upcoming season."
- Managing director Rolf Platou, Riviera Fritid
Norwatch Newsletter 3/01