To secure membership of the union, Serdex underwent a comprehensive audit covering its factories and laboratories in Pau, France, together with its suppliers in Madagascar.
The audit has subsequently been used to develop a work plan that will be used to establish the criteria necessary for future new members to the union that monitors the ecological impact of the company's practices.
France-based Serdex produces active ingredients derived from tropical plants that are used to make cosmetics, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals that are sourced from a range of biodiversities.
Tight ethical regulations
One challenge sourcing natural-based products and ingredients from a range of biodiversities is fulfilling increasingly tight regulations surrounding the ethical trading of these types of products.
Serdex originally based its business around Centella asiatica; a plant known for both its medicinal qualities and one that is also used in a variety of cosmetics, particularly skin care products.
The principles the company has established include 'the sustainable use of biodiversity, fair and equitable sharing from biodiversity, and respect for the rights of actors involved in biotrade'.
These principles are in line with those drawn up by the United Nations, which has been leading the way in establishing a blue print for ethical trading.
This situation has largely arisen due to pressure from consumers who are increasingly aware of the both the ethical and environmental issues surrounding the production of the consumer products they purchase.
Importance of sourcing and manufacture
Indeed, one of the key areas that consumers have shown great concern over is the way the products they buy have been sourced and manufactured.
This means that personal care producers are increasingly putting pressure on their suppliers, compaines like Serdex, to be accountable at every level of the production process so as they can be qualified to make specific product claims or fulfull certification processes.
“This reflects a growing market interest in ethical trade and biodiversity. A number of other companies have also expressed interest in membership and are expected to join soon,” said the executive director of the Union for Ethical BioTrade, Rik Kutsch Lojenga.