State Forests revealed how one online portal manipulates information concerning pellets. ‘They make money from the ‘clicks’ of their fake news,’ one can read in State Forests’ statement.
The text published by the portal Oko.press entitled “We reveal how the State Forests with the government “produced” pellets. A private company made money” contains false information and manipulates facts. In the opinion of the State Forests, such fakes are created to increase the click-through rate of this portal and are at odds with journalistic integrity.
It is not true that the State Forests have bought pellets from a private company and are selling them at a higher price. The State Forests subcontracted the production of pellets from wood supplied by foresters. Outsourcing work to subcontractors who specialise in specific services is a common practice worldwide. The price includes a minimum margin for foresters, which only covers the costs of harvesting the raw material, transport and organising the sale.
It is not true that pellets supplied by a subcontractor are sold by the State Forests at a higher price than the same subcontractor offers on the internet. In fact, the price of the pellets offered by the State Forests is market-driven and within the average price for pellets of the same grade, and the lower price found by oko.press on the internet is not an offer by the subcontractor, but an auctioned offer by a private individual selling one pallet of pellets signed with the subcontractor’s brand. On the same auction portal, it is also possible to find prices higher than those offered by the State Forests, but this was not reported by the ‘journalist’ of oko.press.
It is not true that it is not known on what basis the pellets were supplied to the State Forests by the subcontractor in question. It was a public contract under normal legal principles.
It is untrue that the ‘journalist’ did not receive a response from the Ministry of Climate and Environment, which oversees the State Forests. In fact, he received an unequivocal answer that the pellets were not bought from a private company.
The State Forests have started selling pellets at two locations in Lębork and Olsztyn. The decision to produce pellets was made in autumn when the price of this heating resource went up sharply. The involvement of the State Forests and the supply of pellets to the market was supposed to stop the price increase.