With an increase in awareness of climate change, labor conditions, good agricultural practices, food safety, manufacturing practices, and other pressing concerns, buyers and consumers are consistently looking for more trustworthy claims from brands and suppliers.
A claim is defined as a message used to set apart and promote a product, process, business, or service with reference to its composition or production. For a long time, self-claims were enough for buyers and consumers, meaning that a supplier would give themselves a particular title or status. However, to avoid disputes and greenwashing, and with pressure for a more transparent supply chain, buyers are now looking for more reliable claims from their suppliers.
A reliable claim can come in many forms, and the most common is through voluntary certification programs. Voluntary certification programs set a list of requirements that an organization must be in compliance with, in order to make such a claim. The claims usually have the word “certified” indicating that the product/business was audited by a third-party certification body and was successfully granted a certificate.
About Control Union
We are the leader in global certification and verification services!
With a foundation in agriculture, Control Union Certifications has focused its efforts on developing services around the sustainability of the industry’s supply chains which feed into the food, feed, forestry, biomass, bioenergy, social compliance, and textiles markets.
Whether by tailoring a program around your specific needs or selecting one of the more than 100 programs offered, Control Union Certifications works to provide you with the options needed to source sustainably.
Steps toward certification
There might be slight differences of certification steps from one certification body to another, but most of them will follow the same line which is:
Step 1: Request a certification
The first step is to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, where we will be able to set up a call to directly discuss the specific nature of your certification needs. If you already know which program is best for your business, you can request by the email above its application form directly. The application form should be filled and returned to us.
Step 2: Receive the offer letter
Once we have your application, we will provide you with a non-obligatory offer letter that will indicate the price and scope of your certification.
Step 3: Accept and get your audit plan
Upon accepting and signing, we will contact you about setting up dates for your audit. Once an auditor is assigned, an agenda and audit plan will be sent to you. At the end of your evaluation, the auditor will indicate if any non-compliance has been found and agree to the deadlines of the corrective actions.
Step 4: Audit review
Your audit results will be reviewed by a secondary person, called the certifier, who ultimately decides whether certification will be granted. If you had corrective actions to approach, these need to be sent in for the review process to begin.
Step 5: Get your certification!
If the results have been approved, you will be contacted to receive your certification. If the results were not satisfactory, you will need to submit your corrective actions within the agreed time frame or pause your certification until such time as you are ready.
Introducing trending certification programs
USDA – NOP: USDA National Organic Program
Organic farming or processing is a way of producing food, beverages, or cosmetics that respect life on earth. It minimizes the human impact on the environment and operates as naturally as possible. To be suitable for organic markets, the whole chain of organic production needs to be inspected and certified. Control Union Certifications can provide you with annual audit and certification services.
FAIR TRADE USA
Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) aims to build a global model around the concept that economic empowerment and sustainable livelihoods are the basis for a market that works for everyone. Based on the simple idea that the products they buy and sell are connected to the livelihoods of others, FTUSA is a way to make a conscious choice for a better world and to build positive relationships. Along with our qualified audit team, Control Union can perform audits on farms and manufacturing units according to Fair Trade USA’s guidelines.
GRS: Global Recycle Standard
Companies seeking the gold standard for recycled material claims should look at the GRS standard. As one of the most widely accepted recycled material standards, the GRS certification is sought after by many manufacturers, brands, and retailers when seeking sustainable materials to produce a more sustainable final product for consumers. With the option to have an on-product claim, it allows brands the ability to showcase their product(s) story
A focus on sustainability shouldn’t fade after the farm gate, and buyers interested in certified supply chains must provide increased support to farmers to work more sustainably. When working with Rainforest Alliance, your company ensures that businesses along the supply chain are being benefited – farmers, traders, manufactures, brands, and retailers – and ensures that your products are sourced with respect for people and nature. Control Union is accredited to conduct audits of the following, but not limited to, products: cocoa, coffee, blueberries, bananas, and palm oil.
No matter what your purpose is, we are best suited to assist you in your goal. In more than 100 years of existence, Control Union has partnered with many companies to meet their sustainability challenges head-on. We are your trusted partner!
Bio: We have over 4,500 experienced professionals operating in over 80 countries, meaning we can support your needs from raw material to retail, whether you are operating on a small scale, or across a complex global supply chain. Control Union Certifications is uniquely placed to manage challenges with today’s global marketplace. Visit us at www.certifications.controlunion.com for more information.