Driven by producer and consumer demand, leading organic certifier BioGro has drafted New Zealand’s first organic standard developed specifically for local manufacturers of skin care products, hair treatments, decorative cosmetics and perfumery, waters, toiletries and household cleaning products made with organic ingredients. Until now, BioGro certified-producers in the health and bodycare sector have been measured against guidelines developed overseas which offer limited or no scope for input into the criteria. Nor do they incorporate expectations of New Zealand consumers.
The draft standard is available for public comment http://www.biogro.co.nz/index.php/invitation-to-comment until 27 June 2012.
BioGro’s CEO Dr Michelle Glogau says “Demand for organic health and bodycare has grown rapidly over the last decade, driven by consumer concerns about not only what they put in their bodies but also what they put on their bodies. .
Unlike the labelling of ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ food products which is regulated in many markets, the health and bodycare sector has been largely unregulated, and has attracted the attention of regulators and consumer groups who have voiced concerns about misleading claims of organic or natural cosmetics.
“We’re also responding to the needs of manufacturers who want to substantiate their organic claims and be audited against criteria which is relevant to NZ and their customers” Dr Glogau adds.
The tailor-made standard aims to guide producers towards meeting consumers’ expectations. Dr Glogau says “it will clarify for producers and consumers what constitutes an organic health and bodycare product in quantifiable terms. We hope it will encourage more NZ manufacturers to see certification as an important way to verify their organic claims.”
The proposed standard specifies the production requirements (treatments and practices) for organic health and bodycare products including the processing of raw materials, manufacture, labelling and composition. This forms the criteria used to audit producers applying for organic certification by BioGro.
The proposed standard demands that organic health and bodycare products meet BioGro’s organic principles and strict criteria which are transparent to all stakeholders. For example, products must contain a minimum of 95% organic ingredients with the remainder being natural and/or derived natural ingredients permitted by BioGro. They must be GM free and not tested on animals. No parabens, phenoxyethanol, coco betain ehanoalamides, alkyl sulphates (i.e. sodium lauryl sulphate), synthetic products, petrochemicals or synthetic fragrances are permitted.
Dr Glogau explains the process of developing NZ’s first organic standard for the sector. “We’ve had input from our health and bodycare technical committee which includes manufacturers/processors, industry experts, BioGro certification staff and auditors. It’s now time to hear what the organic sector, wider community and consumers think”.
Any public comments about the draft standard received by 27 June 2012 will be reviewed by BioGro’s Health and Bodycare Technical Committee and where appropriate be incorporated into the new Organic Standard before it is formally submitted to the New Zealand Biological Producers’ and Consumers’ Society for approval by its council.