Herbal tea & vanilla programs
UEBT has partnered with fellow ISEAL member, UTZ Certified – a leading certification system for agricultural products - to offer a joint certification programs for herbal tea and vanilla.
The herbal tea program was launched in 2015 focusing on the certification of supply chains. This certification combines the strengths of both organisations: UEBT certifies the herbs used for tea (all plants and parts of plants: leaves, fruits, flowers, seeds, roots) and UTZ traces them from producer to the shelf.
This certification associates UEBT standard requirements on biodiversity conservation, sustainable use of biodiversity, fair and equitable benefit sharing of benefits, local development and labor rights with UTZ requirements regarding good agricultural practices, traceability, communication and labelling. The collaboration provides a solution to address sustainability issues in the global herbal tea sector.
After the launch of the UEBT/UTZ herbal tea program in January 2015, the program grew rapidly with well-known brands like Meßmer, Twining and Aldi, selling UEBT/ UTZ certified herbal teas, while other brands are preparing market introductions.
UEBT-UTZ collaboration grew to offer a new joint certification programs for vanilla.
What is UEBT/UTZ herbal tea & vanilla program in practice?
UEBT's certification of natural ingredients assures 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 (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.
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).
UEBT/UTZ Certified vanilla and herbal tea ingredients can be sold with the UTZ label.
By participating in the UEBT/UTZ programs, companies and farmers take action to conserve local biodiversity. They apply responsible farming and collection methods and improve working conditions where necessary.
Requirements for participation
To be certified the company must be a UEBT member and must follow the UEBT standard and assurance requirements, plus additional UTZ requirements.
UTZ is a program and a label for sustainable farming. UTZ is the largest program for coffee and cocoa and has certification schemes in other commodities including tea, herbal tea, rooibos and hazelnuts. The UTZ certified label features on over 13,000 different products across 130 countries.
As of 9 of January 2018, UTZ has merged with Rainforest Alliance joining forces to have an even greater impact in tackling issues such as deforestation, climate change, systemic poverty, and social inequity.