Organic certification boom results in confusion and lawsuits

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: North america, United states

Several new organic and natural standards have been launched over the last 18 months on both sides of the Atlantic. CosmeticsDesign.com talked to Amarjit Sahota, director of Organic Monitor, to get under the skin of the “certification wars”.

A plethora of organic standards has emerged recently and competition between them is heated as each vies to become market leader.

In Europe the main certification bodies have clubbed together to establish a harmonized standard called Cosmos but its launch has been delayed. Frustrated by the slow progress, Natrue developed its own standard last year.

Amarjit Sahota told CosmeticsDesign.com that these developments have caused confusion for manufacturers and consumers alike.

Meanwhile, in North America three new standards have hit the market in the last 18 months, sparking a fierce debate over the meaning of the term ‘organic’ that has culminated in lawsuits and legal cases.

Sahota said despite the in-fighting there is less confusion in the US than Europe. Consumers are still putting their trust in brands rather than logos.

With all the competition and confusion surrounding organic certification in Europe and America, the founder and director of Organic Monitor called for a global standard that responds the needs of global manufacturers.

However, Sahota was pessimistic about the possibility of a global standard becoming a reality any time soon. The slow progress to market of the harmonized Cosmos standard and the breakaway of Natrue is a bad omen.

Related topics: Market Trends, Naturals and organics

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