NATRUE - True Friends of Natural and Organic Cosmetics


Beating Plastic Pollution - Wo...

POSTED: 05.06.2018 IN:

Combating plastic pollution in the EU and Worldwide

Plastic pollution is an ever-growing environmental issue which is estimated up to 13 million tonnes of plastic waste ending up into the ocean each year. At an EU level, the European Commission has adopted a wide strategy targeting plastic waste last January, and aims to make all packaging in the EU market recyclable by 2030. Furthermore, the consumption of disposal plastic will be reduced and an intentional use of microplastics will be restricted according to the European commission press release.  

Today is World Environment Day, host in India, and the timely theme this year is “beat the plastic pollution” NATRUE is celebrating this day and expressing its commitment to environmental impact and sustainability though its diverse activities


NATRUE Label requirements for a better environment

Recently a number of countries have begun to adopt legislation, and the European cosmetics industry has generated initiatives to significantly reduce microplastic impact. Yet, since its creation 10 years ago the NATRUE Label criteria has always prohibited the use of microplastics, as well as setting requirements for packaging and disposable carrier materials like wet wipes; always having in mind to reach better sustainability practices. 

Being attentive to a high-quality standard for natural and organic cosmetics products, the NATRUE Label’s authenticity reflects not only what is on the inside but aims to minimise the environmental impact of what is outside too.

In addition of to this end, packaging is something that has been taken with particular attention in the NATRUE criteria over the years.


Looking to the future: Sustainable plastics

Lowering waste and reducing environmental impact, as well as respect for sustainable biodiversity, are concerns that motivate NATRUE’s commitment to guarantee the vital continuity of high quality natural and organic beauty products. Aside from the NATRUE label, NATRUE’s dedication to the sector extends to its research activity. In 2017, NATRUE joined the EU-funded project URBIOFIN, aiming to transform and valorise Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) into new products with high industrial interests including cosmetic packaging for a sustainable future.

What can you do?

Take part to actions and activities worldwide, like beach clean-up. Find the nearest event next to you here

You can also join the global game of #BeatPlasticPollution tag, by sharing on your social media about this issue and rally your friends and family for the #WorldEnvironmentDay

Together we can beat plastic pollution!

NATRUE to participate at Susta...

POSTED: 18.05.2018 IN:

NATRUE is a supporting association for the event and actively participating during the two days. In particular Dr. Mark Smith, Director General of NATRUE, will be taking part in the panel discussion "Private and International Regulations – maximising the green impact" from 12:20 to 13:20 on Day 1 - Thursday 31st May. Mr. Sven Gehrig will also join the panel as a representative from one of the NATRUE founder member companies, WALA GmbH (Dr Hauschka, Germany).


On Day 2, Mrs. Jayn Sterland, from NATRUE member Weleda UK, will open the event with a talk on “Conscious beauty: pioneering sustainability in today’s cosmetics business” (09:25-09:50 am) and close this year’s edition of the Sustainability & Naturals in Cosmetics with “The future of sustainable cosmetics – what is next?” (03:25-03:50 pm).


With ever increasing consumer demand for naturals and a growing consciousness concerning issues of sustainability, a product’s life-cycle, its manufacturer, ingredients origin and packaging, the cosmetics industry is in a process of adaptation of its practices and global trends in order to stay ahead of the market. The conference aims to provide a platform to discuss these key topics, challenges and to debate current best-practices and goals for the sector through the input of multiple stakeholders.


Day 1 will be dedicated to “Trends in the natural and organic cosmetics industry”, “Innovation in formulation, ingredients and raw materials” and “Cosmetics certification standards and requirements”, and Day 2 to aspects covering “Marketing in sustainable cosmetics”, “Managing a sustainable supply chain”, and “Trends in sustainable cosmetics packaging”.


This two-day event promises to deliver on several key topics within the industry, bringing together key professionals from across the cosmetics industry, from raw material suppliers to retailers to associations and more.


If you would like to have more information and join the event, find out more here >>> link to the Event website

NATRUE Membership Assembly 201...

POSTED: 15.05.2018 IN:

Every year, the Membership Assembly is a great opportunity to address and update the challenges of the Natural and Organic Cosmetics (NOC) sector together with the main achievements of the past year. On Tuesday 24th April 2018, NATRUE held its annual Membership Assembly in Frankfurt – Germany. The occasion to update Members of the Association about its activities in the areas of advocacy, label and research. This year the international non-profit association again grew its membership, now to 75 active members worldwide. NATRUE also demonstrated the powerful impact and continued growth of NATRUE label in the NOC sector, as chosen by the globally leading brands of certified natural and organic cosmetics.



Outstanding Market Relevance

Between 2017 and 2018, more than 500 new products and 12 new brands adopted the Label. As of April 2018, this brings a total number of certified brands up to 250, covering 31 countries globally and for the 1st time we saw new brands from Brazil and Morocco. The combined worldwide consumer sales attributable to products carrying the NATRUE seal exceeds 1 billion euros, showing that there is a real trust from consumers to cosmetic products bearing the NATRUE label – a true reference in the certified NOC world.


Advocacy at its heart

As a founding principle of NATRUE, advocacy for the coming year continues to focus on definitions for product criteria, natural ingredients protection and “green” claims to combat greenwash for the benefit of the consumer and the sector alike. New areas of focus also include environmental fate of ingredients, products, plastics including product packaging and sustainability. On-going areas of activity, and top priorities for its members, include fragrance allergens, endocrine disrupting compounds, new plant breeding techniques and GMOs, nanomaterials and a global animal testing ban.


Innovating waste to cosmetic product packaging

Last year, NATRUE announced its participation to the exciting and innovative new sustainability project, URBIOFIN, which is aiming to transform and valorise customer waste into new products including cosmetic packaging. One year on, it was the opportunity to update members on the project and sustainability actions at EU-level dealing with the Circular and Bio-based Economy. The project runs until May 2021 and more information can be found here:  


"For over 10 years NATRUE has provided the voice, and the scope and diversity of our activities demonstrates commitment to all in the sector. As NATRUE’s dedicated membership and Label users grow we face both new and existing challenges together. NATRUE will always be a home to embrace those advocating for high quality who support and nurture growth of a vibrant, and continuously innovative sector for the benefit of consumers worldwide.” Dr. Mark Smith, NATRUE Director General.

Hans Nijnens appointed as new ...

POSTED: 20.04.2018 IN:

The Board of Management of the International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association (NATRUE) has decided during its meeting on 23rd April 2018 to appoint Mr. Hans Nijnens as the new President of NATRUE from 1st May 2018 onwards.

Mr. Nijnens (1957), former General Manager at Weleda Benelux SE, joined the Board of Management of NATRUE already in 2013, also representing Weleda as one of the founding members. From 2013 to 2017 he was vice-president of NATRUE. For many years, he took up the role of intermediary between the Board and the Secretariat in Brussels.

We thank Mr. Nijnens for this strong commitment and wish him every success in his new role. We are confident that by taking this step, the NATRUE organization will reinforce its mission to protect and promote natural and organic cosmetics to the benefit of consumers worldwide.

NATRUE at Cosmoprof 2018: How ...

POSTED: 07.03.2018 IN:

Based in Brussels, the International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association whose mission is to promote and protect natural and organic cosmetics will participate at the international trade fair for the professional beauty industry from 15th to 18th March to promote protection strategies and grow awareness of authentic natural and organic cosmetics.

Consumer transparency and authenticity of natural and organic cosmetic products - these are the topics at the heart of NATRUE's presence at the 51st edition of the International Beauty Exhibition in Bologna.

In a large exhibition space (Stand A9 - Hall 21N), the international Brussels based non-profit Association will explain the tools that facilitate the identification of natural cosmetics and initiatives to fight the ever-increasing phenomenon of greenwashing. NATRUE will also talk about innovation as a fundamental driver for a qualified development of the sector and address the topic of sustainability.
NATRUE is happy to co-exhibit with its following member companies: Dr. Hauschka (Wala Heilmittel), Kneipp, KHK lipcare and Naturdermal (COOP/Co.Ind) who will present their NATRUE certified product novelties.

On Friday 16th March from 10.45 to 11.30 Dr. Mark Smith, NATRUE Director General, will participate in the roundtable discussion entitled "Natural and organic: an update of the industry". The presentation will start with a seminar on the global natural and organic cosmetics market, providing latest trends and developments of a rapidly expanding sector, followed by a debate that will address the future outlook regarding standards, green raw materials and promotional strategies.

"Unfortunately, the greenwashing phenomenon is still growing rapidly, which is why NATRUE considers it fundamental to consolidate the value of authentic certified natural and organic cosmetics. Authenticity and transparency are the themes we aim to enhance with our presence at the Cosmoprof 2018 edition," said Dr. Mark Smith, NATRUE Director General.

For more details on the seminar, including free registration, click here:

NATRUE at VIVANESS 2018: The r...

POSTED: 07.02.2018 IN:

From 14th to 17th February 2018, the international natural and organic cosmetics and personal care sector will meet again at VIVANESS in Nuremberg, Germany. NATRUE, the international non-profit association for natural and organic cosmetics who became an official honorary sponsor of VIVANESS in 2016, will be exhibiting again with a joint stand, split into two parts: the Brand Galeria and, on the opposite side, the Pioneers' Gate.

At NATRUE's largest joint stand ever, visitors can discover NATRUE certified products from all over the world and find out about the association, the NATRUE seal, and current developments in the sector. Industry pioneers Laverana, Logocos, Primavera and Weleda will be exhibiting in Hall 7A, Stand 251 on the Pioneers' Gate. On the opposite side, the Brand Galeria (stand 261) will be occupied by NATRUE and representatives of eight other international manufacturers of NATRUE certified natural and organic cosmetics from Australia, France, Germany and Italy.

Key facts about the NATRUE joint stand at VIVANESS 2018:


Laverana (Germany), Logocos (Germany), Primavera (Germany), Weleda (Germany), Biovégane and Dr. Scheller (BCG Baden-Baden, Germany), Delidea Bio, Bio Happy, and Oyuna (Gala, Italy), Pure Papayacare (Australia), Beauty Garden (France), Frühmesner (Germany), HA THA (Germany), ÜBERWOOD (Germany), Yeso ' Cosmetics (Italy).

When: Wednesday, 14.02. to Saturday, 17.02.2018

Where: Messe Nürnberg | Hall 7a | Stand 251 and Stand 261

With growing consumer interest in natural and organic cosmetics comes the need to support consumers in their purchasing decision. However, greenwashing remains an ever-present malpractice to misrepresent a product's characteristics such as more ethical, sustainable, natural, organic or environmentally friendly than it actually is. Above all, greenwashing can negatively impact authentic producers, demotivate and undermine consumer confidence in the sector, and so ultimately affect the future growth of the authentic sector.

A centre point for protection and promotion of authentic natural and organic cosmetics, and the presence of the international non-profit association this year, is therefore the baseline principle of the consumers' "right to know, the right to choose".

"The increasing shift in the industry towards natural ingredients and sustainable practices is a positive one but it also means NATRUE's over ten-year commitment to the sector remains as relevant as ever by advocating for the sector's interests for all; promoting a strict standard through the NATRUE Label; providing the consumer with high quality information regarding natural and organic cosmetics and their ingredients" said Dr. Mark Smith, NATRUE Director General, who continued: "Without doubt VIVANESS represents a key international platform for NATRUE and its members to table strategy, interact with other principle stakeholders, focus on the importance of increased awareness and respect of authenticity and, in absence of a strict official definition, certification of natural and organic cosmetics."

The NATRUE team will be at the stand at the visitors' disposal throughout the fair days. In addition, Dr. Smith will be present at Vivaness' Opening Ceremony on Wednesday 14th February at 1pm in NCC Ost, Hall Tokio; participate at the official Vivaness Blogger Event on Thursday 15th February at 9:30am starting at Let's talk VIVANESS, Hall 7A, and hold the following presentations:

- Thursday 15th February, 11:00-11:45am: Against Greenwash: Communicating the added value of certified natural and organic cosmetics to the consumers in 2018

- Friday 16th February, 1:00-1:45pm: Cosmetic Packaging, Sustainability and the Renewable Circular Economy: EU-funded URBIOFIN project

Additional information on the talks can be found here.

URBIOFIN Newsletter Released –...

POSTED: 25.01.2018 IN:

We are happy to announce that the 2nd URBIOFIN newsletter is ready. Please feel free to disseminate it across your own channels and networks.

NATRUE has committed itself to this EU-funded project consortium that deals with conversion of the organic fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) into different bioproducts with a high industrial interest.

In this issue you can read about achieving the first milestone, i.e. the characterization and selection of the best Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste that is the basis for further investigations in the project, as well as the 2nd General Meeting and the BBJ JU Stakeholder Forum in Brussels where the project was presented.

If you would like to find out more and follow the project we encourage you to sign up to the newsletter and consult the homepage.

NATRUE welcomes CERES Shanghai...

POSTED: 29.11.2017 IN:

As a leading organic certification body in China, CERES (Shanghai) Certification Co., Ltd. wants to promote the development of natural and organic cosmetics in China and beyond” states Mr Zong'an Liu, Director of Technical Department of CERES “After long time research, NATRUE was identified as the best partner to achieve that goal. The not for profit status of the association as well as the strictness of the standard have been crucial factor on that choice” continues Mr Zong'an Liu.

“NATRUE is delighted to welcome CERES Shanghai to our independent, international network of approved certifiers. We see this move as a positive and mutually beneficial one for both parties, companies and consumers alike. To protect and promote natural and organic cosmetics the vision of the NATRUE Label’s has always been global. Through continuously forging likeminded partnerships like this one, we continue to expand our global vision and uncovered international markets to allow consumers in those regions to have increased access to the high quality and authentic products they expect. As in all its activities, NATRUE warmly welcome all stakeholders to join us and be part of our collective mission and vision.”

CERES Shanghai provides an additional regional reference point for companies wishing to certify finished products and raw materials according to NATRUE, and with this recent accreditation the network of NATRUE Approved Certifiers becomes stronger and more international.

With 11 operational certification bodies, NATRUE can count on a broad network which is quite impressive for a single natural and organic cosmetic standard. Our seal is therefore a true beacon in the jungle of labels and our independent certification system is a way of ensuring transparency and high quality in certification activities” affirms Francesca Morgante Label and Communication Manager at NATRUE “No matter which is the certifier chosen by the company, consumers will only need to look for the NATRUE Label on packaging, and they will be guaranteed to purchase an authentic natural and organic cosmetic”

Currently certification to the international NATRUE standard is supported by the following independent control bodies worldwide:

A.NAT.CERT (Germany), Bio.Inspecta (Switzerland), BioAgricert (Italy), Biogro (New Zealand), CCPB (Italy), CERES (China), EcoControl (Germany), Ecogruppo Italia (Italy), IBD (Brazil), JAPAL (Japan) and SGS Institut Fresenius (Austria).

NATRUE’s engagement for the Su...

POSTED: 30.10.2017 IN:

NATRUE is a sponsor of the event and actively participating to the two days. In particular Dr. Mark Smith, Director General of NATRUE will be moderating the panel discussion "Role of Sustainability schemes" from 12.40 to 13.00 on Day 2 - Tuesday 7th November.

The growing use of agricultural materials in cosmetics & personal care products is raising questions about sourcing practices. An update will be given on sustainable sourcing of cosmetic ingredients, highlighting issues with supply chains and transparency. Another session will cover developments in green formulations. What new green materials are making their way in cosmetic & personal care applications? How are brands integrating sustainability into their product formulations? Approaches to address the social impacts of cosmetic products will also be featured. How can brands increase the social value of their products? What can be done to encourage responsible use and disposal of cosmetic and personal care products?

In concomittance with the Summit, the Sustainability Beauty Award winners will be announced. Among the Finalists NATRUE's is pleased to see a great representation of NATRUE certified brands from all over the world concurring to the title, including Trilogy Natural Products from New Zealand running as Sustainability Pioneer and again Trilogy and Alteya Organics from Bulgaria, running for the Green Formulations title. Last year, Weleda, founding member of NATRUE was awarded for both Green Formulations and Sustainability Leadership. Registrations are still open at the following link

Why the ISO 16128 guidelines f...

POSTED: 19.10.2017 IN:

ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization that creates documents setting specifications, requirements or guidance on a topic. The process brings together expertise from a sector to address solutions to global challenges.  Generally-speaking through standardisation complexity can be reduced, and with-it barriers to trade. As such, this approach is something that the natural and organic cosmetic sector could have benefited from.

“Without prejudice, NATRUE welcomes internationally agreed initiatives aimed at reducing complexity and barriers to trade with an emphasis on combating ‘greenwashing’, which is the reason why the NATRUE Label exists. We believe strongly that consumers must not be misled by products claiming ‘natural’ and organic’ but this requires strict criteria to benchmark them” states Dr Mark Smith, Director at NATRUE.

Unfortunately, the outcome of this international process, the ISO 16128 guidelines, has fallen short of current private standard’s requirements, and there is no guarantee that products using it will be consistent with consumer expectations, especially within established markets such as the EU. The broad permissions and flexibility of approach as a guideline fails to combat greenwashing that, at heart, still misleads consumers, fragments the market place, and impacts those innovative producers of authentic products. As such, even if both are voluntary schemes, use of the ISO guidelines cannot provide the same immediacy and transparency to reassure consumers and match their expectations as current private standards.  

The 3 critical points overall regarding the ISO 16128 guidelines they stand that do not improve the current status quo regarding greenwashing and differ from private standards are:

  • ·        General lack of transparency for consumers

The guidelines can only be accessed by paying, and even if purchasing the guidelines alone will not clarify how they have been used in practice.

  • ·        Permitted ingredient origin:  Petrochemical and GM Plants

Petrochemical: Users of the guideline are not obliged to restrict the use of petrochemicals whatsoever. Consumers would not expect mineral oil to be in authentic products but ISO 16128 would allow it. This is an example of how the guideline is fundamentally inconsistent with the principles of the sector, and do not help the evolution and growth of the sector or solve the core issue surrounding greenwash.

GM Plants: Consumer do not expect cosmetic ingredients coming from sources like genetically modified plants (GMOs) to be permitted in natural and organic cosmetics. Consumers are currently reassured on this point as each of the most established private standards for natural and organic cosmetics guaranteed a ban on such ingredients.  

  •       Verification, control and identification of finished products

Part 2 of the guidelines provides calculations to determine natural or organic ingredient content; these can be voluntarily authenticated by certification. However, certification here should not be confused with whether or not the product can officially qualify to claim natural or organic, or certification as it is understood according to private standard that sets specific criteria for finished products.

Certification to ISO 16128 only authenticates that the calculation was carried out correctly, as the guideline has no benchmark to establish at what percentage content a product can claim or be considered natural or organic. These are out of scope of ISO 16128 and remain the responsibility of the regulator.

     Consumers have grown to expect some kind of verification logo or seal on a product to assure them of its authenticity. In a study commissioned by NATRUE to GfK it emerged that over 60% of consumers are reassured by the presence of a label on natural and organic cosmetics.

Now we’re here, what do we want from our future?
It should be remembered that the ISO guideline is purely voluntary; its availability does not represent an automatic change in the regulatory framework for natural and organic cosmetics. Countries might choose to adopt the ISO guidelines but there is no obligation.

For the time being ISO 16128 does not change the status quo and leaves space for products that continue, at best, or increase at worst, greenwashing. If a regulatory body were to adopt the guidelines directly in their current state the market risks to be swamped with legitimate but “nature-inspired”, as opposed to truly authentic products thereby generating confusion amongst consumers and negatively impacting authentic producers. More broadly, it is not only possible to conceive fragmented use of the guideline by companies within a territory or nation but also fragmented use globally, if different regulatory bodies decided to add or modify criteria from the ISO 16128 template if incorporating it into law or national guidelines. In either scenario there may be variation between one product’s petrochemical content and another, or whether ingredients in that product are from GMO origin or not.   

To provide consumers with the products they expect, NATRUE advocates that any future regulatory procedure for natural and organic cosmetics, including an official definition or specific guidance for product claims ‘natural’ or ‘organic’, must be strict.

One crucial factor is to maintain trust for future sector growth. This means proactive commitment to stop greenwashing and promotion of an environment of transparency and authenticity. To meet consumer expectations, and to truly combat greenwashing, products claiming to be natural or organic must severely restrict petrochemical use to only specific functions, like preservatives, with a clear emphasis on eliminating their dependence altogether, as well as excluding ingredients from GMOs. All of which will also mean increasing encouragement for further scientific innovation of authentic natural and organic ingredients. Taken together, however, we can see a future where products deliver claims that align themselves with consistent and established consumer expectations for natural and organic rather than greenwash.

 NATRUE is the only association uniquely placed to represent the natural and organic cosmetic sector through its seat at the European Commission Working Group on Cosmetics. This privileged position allow us to directly participate and contribute to evolving legislation, like claims, and  actively campaign to support initiatives that help the whole sector to progress and prosper without undermining consumers trust” concluded Dr Smith.