Adopted at the General Assembly held in June 2011, the new charter drawn up by the Professional Association of Ecological and Organic Cosmetics was presented by Samuel Gabory (President of Cosmébio until 2014). Explanations.
The Cosmebio Association brings together several hundred members, all actors of the cosmetic industry (ingredients suppliers, manufacturers, contract manufacturers, retailers) to promote organic and ecological cosmetics.
Its first Charter dates back to 2002. After almost ten years, and in a constantly moving sector, a reassessment of the criteria was needed, as Samuel Gabory explains, to balance its fundamental values.
Three main sections
Samuel Gabory reminds us that the action of the association is based on three uniting factors:
• The social part, which considers people, ethics and social responsibility
• The technical part, based on a scientific approach for a thoroughly controlled ecological and organic cosmetic industry
• The organic part , which deals with a nature-friendly attitude and the support of organic farming
Previously, the technical part was prevalent. Cosmebio members had mainly to design and manufacture cosmetic products that met the criteria or the requirements issued by Ecocert, Qualité France, or COSMOS-Standard.
The purpose of this new code is to balance the three uniting factors, to enhance the ethics and organic ones.
At the end, eight commitments that the members shall endorse.
The eight commitments
Three “Operating Guidelines”
• A responsible communication
A “code of ethics in communication”, written after the texts issued by the advertisement regulation authorities, is the reference for any communication related to products labelled as Cosmebio, which claim to follow a sustainable development process.
• The fair-trade evaluation
Each member shall now carry an evaluation of its suppliers about their fair-trade practices, as per a model issued by the association.
• The assessment of the biodiversity
In the same way, an evaluation of the bio diversity shall be performed on the Cosmebio-labelled products.
Four mandatory commitments
Each company commits itself to make at least one of its employees attend a one-day training dedicated to the guiding principles of the association, provided by Cosmebio, once a year.
• A clear and precise information for consumers
The list of ingredients of every product, after the INCI nomenclature, shall be given on the Cosmebio website, among several other requirements.
• The ratio of organic products
This comes as two requirements, to guarantee the Cosmebio label is fair.
- Any brand containing the word BIO (it comes for organic in French) in its name can be Cosmebio certified only if 100% of its products are Cosmebio certified.
- Any manufacturer, which has at least one Cosmebio certified product, commits itself to have at least 20% of its products Cosmebio certified within three years.
• Compliance with the graphic charter
When several certification bodies fight to be the “Nbr one” on the market of the organic certification, this Cosmebio requirement is more as a standard that consumers can easily identify.
A collective commitment
• The Association Annual Report on Sustainable Development
To add to its commitment, Cosmebio will issue a Annual Report on Sustainable Development, which will detail what has been done, the objectives and the advances made by the members as per the founding themes of the association, along their key indicators. The first one is planned for spring 2012.
Biodiversity, fair-trade, sustainable development, nature-friendly, transparency … the new Cosmebio code is fully dedicated to ethics. Many actors say that the cosmetics of tomorrow will be ethics or will no longer exist: Cosmebio seems to endorse this statement and wants to be its flagship for consumers of organic cosmetics. This may increase their confidence and their trust in the products that display its logo.