Dutch state faces court over new ‘good wood’ office furniture order

The Dutch state is being taken to court by a furniture firm from Emmen after it awarded a multi-million euro contract for 100,000 new desks, chairs and filing cabinets to two companies which did not have ‘good wood’ certification.

The Financieele Dagblad says the contract was awarded to Gispen and Rohde & Grahl, even though they did not have the FSC and PEFC kite marks for their products and the tender rules stated the furniture must be as environment-friendly as possible.

The state has since suspended the order pending the outcome of the court case, which will be heard in October, the paper said.

The total value of the contract is put at between €80m and €220m and bidders went through ‘lengthy procedures’ to establish the office furniture is as green and sustainable as possible, the FD says.

Emmen firm Drentea decided to take the issue to court when Rijkswaterstaat, the transport ministry unit responsible for the order, failed to explain why the winning companies were not properly certified.

The department and the winning companies declined to answer its questions about the deal, the FD said.

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