Verifying good practices



Natural ingredients

Natural ingredients come from the world’s biodiversity.  They may derive directly from plants or animals, or be processed (e.g. physical processing such as drying, extracting or distilling) or mixed (e.g. fragrance and flavor mixtures) from plant, animal or microbial material.

UEBT verifies companies’ commitments to innovation and sourcing of natural ingredients that contribute to a world in which people and biodiversity thrive.

UEBT offers:

  • Verification of company commitment to sourcing with respect
  • Certification of ethical sourcing systems
  • Certification of natural ingredients sourced with respect people and biodiversity

Verifying company commitment to sourcing with respect

UEBT member companies are committed to sourcing with respect for people and biodiversity. Every three years UEBT verifies their innovation and sourcing systems for ingredients derived from biodiversity. Companies establish work plans to gradually improve company practices – both in the company and in the areas where ingredients are sourced.

What is assessed?

The following commitments are verified:

  • Ethical sourcing commitments
  • Ethical BioTrade principles are reflected in policies and procedures on sourcing and innovation
  • Risks in the natural ingredient portfolio are assessed
  • Ethical BioTrade practices are promoted in prioritized natural ingredient supply chains

UEBT membership verification doesn’t guarantee compliance with the UEBT Ethical BioTrade standard, but is focussed on improvement and learning.


UEBT member companies may communicate on their UEBT membership and use the UEBT member logo. 

Reference documents:

  • UEBT membership conditions and obligations
  • UEBT Ethical BioTrade Standard
  • UEBT claims policy
  • List of members

Certifying ethical sourcing systems


An ethical sourcing system refers to the set of policies and procedures that promotes innovation and sourcing practices for natural ingredients, in line with the Ethical BioTrade standard. 

Through its ethical sourcing system certification program, UEBT certifies company systems that respect people and biodiversity. This certification validates that systems for innovation and sourcing of natural ingredients advance the requirements set in the Ethical BioTrade standard. Audits are conducted by independent auditors, who verify the implementation of policies and procedures.

What is assessed?

Policies and procedures on the following issues are checked for this certification:

  • Ethical sourcing commitments for specific company, brand or product line
  • A due diligence system, based on Ethical BioTrade principles, covering suppliers and supply chains
  • A due diligence system addressing compliance with rules and best practices on access and benefit sharing (ABS)
  • Assessment of risks in the natural ingredient portfolio
  • Promotion of Ethical BioTrade practices in prioritized natural ingredient supply chains
  • A verification system for Ethical BioTrade practices for prioritized supply chains
  • UEBT monitoring and evaluation data collection for prioritized supply chainsT
  • Traceability system for natural ingredients
  • Communication and marketing policies addressing claims of ethical sourcing of natural ingredients


UEBT member companies with a certified sourcing system can use the UEBT certification mark.

Reference documents:

  • Ethical sourcing system certification factsheet
  • Certification protocol for brands
  • Ethical BioTrade Standard
  • Claims policy
  • Overview of UEBT certificate holders

UEBT natural ingredient certification


Innovative solutions


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).

Through its natural ingredient certification program, UEBT certifies that a natural ingredient is sourced with respect for people and biodiversity. Certification is granted once independent audits verify compliance with the Ethical BioTrade standard in the areas where natural ingredients are sourced. Traceability up 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.

UEBT/UTZ Herbal Tea and Vanilla Program

UEBT and UTZ offer joint programs for vanilla and herbal teas.

The program combines requirements from both UTZ Certified and UEBT standards. It also involves shared responsibilities: UEBT is responsible for the certification and UTZ Certified manages traceability and labelling.  

The UTZ label can be used on UEBT/UTZ certified vanilla and herbal teas.

What is assessed?

To grant certification, auditors assess the local organisation (company, cooperative, farm) that is responsible for assuring compliance with the UEBT standards, as well as the areas and people in the sourcing areas (forests, agricultural lands, pickers, farmers, farmworkers, smallholders).


UEBT certification programs allow different claims:

  • UEBT/UTZ certified vanilla and herbal tea ingredients can be sold with the UTZ label.
  • For natural ingredients, companies that hold the ethical sourcing system certification may use the UEBT certification mark, with mention of the certified ingredient.
  • Claims of compliance are possible for UEBT certified natural ingredients without ethical sourcing system certification, but there are currently no labelling opportunities.
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Reference documents:

  • Natural ingredient certification factsheet
  • Overview of certification set-ups
  • Natural Ingredient certification protocol
  • Ethical BioTrade Standard
  • UEBT field checklist
  • Claims policy
  • Overview of UEBT certificate holders



Additional references UEBT/UTZ

  • UEBT/UTZ certification checklist
  • UEBT/UTZ field checklist
  • UTZ requirements
  • UTZ claims policy
  • Overview of UEBT/UTZ certificate holders