Why was it necessary to establish advocacy strategies for the authentic Natural and Organic Cosmetics sector?
In an officially undefined sector of a tightly regulated industry, greenwashing and questions regarding the availability of premium raw materials have become a major concern for consumers and manufacturers alike. Consequently, it became essential to create an international non-profit association professionally staffed, to speak up on behalf of the sector and at an international level. A strict definition of Natural and Organic Cosmetics and ingredient regulation go hand in hand in order to ensure consumers the quality finished products they expect.
From an ingredient point of view: natural and organic ingredients, unlike artificial ingredients, cannot be replaced through research and development. Nature cannot be re-invented. Inappropriate regulation or lack of respect for sustainable biodiversity, are examples of vital issues which must be addressed in order to guarantee the continuity of premium irreplaceable raw materials without which it would be impossible to formulate quality beauty products.
Greenwashing: NATRUE advocates that any future regulatory definition of Natural and Organic Cosmetics must be strict. Otherwise the market risks to be swamped with legitimate but “nature-inspired” as opposed to truly authentic products generating confusion amongst consumers and negatively impacting authentic Natural and Organic Cosmetic producers. See section “What makes the NATRUE Label special”.
How does NATRUE do this?
NATRUE participates in and contributes to all relevant regulatory decision making bodies:
NATRUE is a trusted partner of the European institutions: NATRUE has a seat on the European Commission’s Cosmetics Working Group where all emerging and evolving regulations impacting cosmetics are addressed including cosmetic claims and ingredients regulation. The provisions of Article 20 of the EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009 require that the Commission establish common criteria for claims – natural and organic is a claim and will be discussed in this Working Group.
The Cosmetics Working Group comprises government representatives from Member States and relevant industry experts.
NATRUE is a member of The European Standardization Organization (CEN): where all emerging and evolving European standards are discussed and agreed or rejected. If the European Commission mandates CEN to develop a standard, upon adoption of the standard it becomes a European harmonized standard and is referenced as such in the relevant EU Regulations. If a CEN Member tables a standard which is subsequently agreed and adopted it is not a European harmonized standard – each Member State can sign up to it and it is then integrated into national law.
NATRUE is a member of and contributes to ISO TC 217/WG 4, a multi-stakeholder Cosmetics Group at the International Standardization Organization. Working Group 4 (WG4) is currently developing Guidelines for technical definitions and criteria for Natural and Organic Cosmetics. The Guidelines are divided into two separate documents, and the process is expected to be finalized by October 2017 at the latest.
NATRUE works with the European Parliament:
In November 2014 NATRUE held a two-day exhibition, presenting its vision, mission and goals, achievements and challenges in the European Parliament. The focus was on the need for a strict regulatory definition of Natural and Organic Cosmetics. In this respect, NATRUE presented the results of an independent consumer inquiry carried out by GfK, concerning consumer expectations with regards to Natural and Organic Cosmetics.
The EU institutions invite NATRUE to contribute to its Working Groups on a regular basis:
NATRUE is also regularly invited by the European Institutions to participate in and contribute to various Institutional Working Groups and Public Consultations on a number of issues: e.g. fragrance allergens, endocrine disruptors, CoP discussions (Community of Practice for better self and co-regulations), sustainability and more.