Retailer to make certification for its organic personal care products compulsory

By Katie Nichol

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal care products Organic food

By next June, Whole Foods Market is to make certification compulsory for all cosmetics and personal care products making an ‘organic’ claim sold through its US stores.

While organic food is subject to strict regulations, organic certification of non-food items is not mandatory, and the retailer said its policy aims to ‘honor the authenticity of the organic label’.

“Our shoppers do not expect the definition of organic to change substantially between the food and non-food aisles of our stores,” ​said quality standards coordinator, Joe Dickson. “We believe that the ‘organic’ claim used on personal care products should have just as strong a meaning to the ‘organic’ claim used on food products.”

Impact on suppliers

The plans will mean some of Whole Foods Market’s suppliers will have to seek certification for their products, as not all currently have third-party certification

In an official blog on its website, the retailer states: “quite a few of our suppliers​ [will have to] become certified, change their labels, reformulate their products and take other measures to comply with our guidelines.”

Whole Foods said it was unable to comment on how the plans had been received by its suppliers.

Third-party certification

Whole Foods Market says its guidelines require suppliers to obtain either USDA NOP or NSF third-party certification depending on the claim a product is making.

Products that make an ‘organic’ or ‘made with organic ingredients’ claim must be certified to the USDA NOP standard, and those making a ‘contains organic ingredients’ must certified to the NSF ANIS standard for Organic Personal Care Products, the retailer explained.

Suppliers making an ‘organic’ claim must submit plans for compliance by Aug 1 2010, and the deadline to be in full compliance with the guidelines is June 1 2011, according to the retailer.

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