Natural ingredient certification
Certifying natural ingredients
UEBT's certification of natural ingredients assures that a natural ingredient is sourced with respect for people and biodiversity. This is different than UEBT certification of a company’s sourcing system because it applies to a specific ingredient. Certification is granted once independent audits verify compliance with the Ethical BioTrade Standard (the UEBT standard) in the regions where natural ingredients are sourced. Traceability through to the area of collection or cultivation is always required. Audits are conducted by third party auditors, but internal control systems can be deployed at different stages of the supply chain.
While UEBT certification requires practices that respect biodiversity and reduce biodiversity loss, such as restrictions on forest clearing, protection of endangered species and pollinators, and reducing agrochemicals, it is important to understand that UEBT certification is not the same as organic certification. However, many ingredients in UEBT member companies’ products are both UEBT certified and certified organic, and the two systems are complementary.
UEBT certification is also different from the “cruelty-free” mark, and animal testing is outside the scope of the UEBT standard. Companies that work with UEBT make separate commitments on this issue.
UEBT offers innovative approaches to credible verification. For example, certification is possible against internal company standards that UEBT has recognized as reflecting the Ethical BioTrade Standard. Moreover, organisations at different stages of the supply chain can be certificate holders (e.g. final product brands, international or local processing companies, farms, cooperatives).
What is assessed?
Under natural ingredient certification, auditors assess the local entity (e.g. company, cooperative or farm) that is responsible for verifying that sourcing practices comply with the Ethical BioTrade Standard , as well as the physical areas and people in the sourcing areas (e.g. forests, agricultural lands, harvesters, farmers, farmworkers, or smallholders).
The claims that are permitted differ depending on the type of certification:
UEBT/UTZ Certified vanilla and herbal tea ingredients can be sold with the UTZ label.
Companies holding ethical sourcing system certification may use the UEBT certification mark on products as long as there is a mention of the certified natural ingredient.
If a company uses UEBT certified natural ingredients, but itself lacks ethical sourcing system certification, it can make a claim of compliance, but there are currently no labeling opportunities.
UEBT/UTZ Herbal Tea and Vanilla
UEBT has partnered with fellow ISEAL member, UTZ Certified – a leading certification system for agricultural products - to offer a joint certification programs for vanilla and herbal tea.
The program combines requirements from both UTZ Certified and UEBT standards. Under the program, UEBT is responsible for the certification and UTZ Certified manages traceability and labelling.
The UTZ label can be used on certified vanilla and herbal teas.