Considering the range of natural and organic standards for cosmetics worldwide, a greater need for global harmonisation is growing. At the Green and Natural Standards and Certifications panel discussion, which took place at in-cosmetics Barcelona, at the Marketing Trends theatre on 14 April, moderator, Amarjit Sahota (CEO of Organic Monitor) hosted an interactive session with panelists and audience participation.
Working together better
‘The global adoption rate for organic certifications is one per cent,’ comments Sahota, who added that the statistic is mainly related to Europe and the Americas. Could this low percentage, despite growing consumer interest in organic products, be as a result of the various standards available today and little harmonisation? One audience member who consults as a formulator to various brand owners said she found it very confusing as to which standard to follow, be it Natrue, Cosmos, the Soil Association or Ecocert. Another audience member asked when the various standards are going to start recognising one another.
According to the panelists, collaboration is underway, yet possibly not rapidly enough to meet the needs of brands and manufacturers in various countries.
Ecocert has worked with Cosmos on common standards for organic farming, in 2010 and 2013. ‘The next step is to apply these harmonised standards to cosmetics,’ says Anaïs Hembise, Ecocert’s cosmetics certification manager: South Europe. Furthermore, Soil Association has also formed a partnership with Cosmos.
Alain Khaiat, owner of Seers Consulting and an International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) representative, shared some interesting news during the panel discussion on the developments of relative standards.
‘ISO is currently working on a standard for natural and organic ingredients, which has been approved and is likely to be published by end 2015,’ he comments. Finished product is next in line for ISO, with Khaiat explaining that an applicable standard is in the pipeline.
Sustainable sourcing of raw materials is gaining popularity in the cosmetics industry, and is likely to have a direct impact on the direction of natural and organic product and ingredient certification in the future.
‘We can’t ignore sustainable measures and sourcing programmes like RSPO sustainable palm oil and Fair Trade, yet one wonders how exactly this will fit into the global organic cosmetics market,’ Sahota concludes.