Geneva – May 15, 2014. Firmenich Grasse, the natural ingredients global center of excellence of leading flavor and fragrance company Firmenich, has successfully attained membership in the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT).
Through UEBT membership, Firmenich is responding to the growing attention of consumers to the ethical sourcing of natural ingredients. Consumer research conducted on behalf of UEBT in eight countries around the world indicates that 87% of surveyed consumers expect companies to have sourcing policies in place that respect biodiversity.
“For almost a decade, Firmenich has developed responsible sourcing projects around the world and Firmenich Grasse is at the center of our sustainability and global natural sourcing initiatives. We were looking for an externally-validated approach to reinforce the coherence of our different projects. Our UEBT membership systematizes our sustainable sourcing efforts and provides external validation of our expertise in responsible sourcing”, says Patrick Firmenich, the company’s CEO.
Firmenich Grasse sources botanical materials from 170 botanical families in over 50 countries. As a member of UEBT, Firmenich Grasse will implement a biodiversity management system for the sourcing of its plant materials. Using a risk-based approach, Firmenich Grasse will actively strengthen sourcing practices in specific prioritized supply chains, following the internationally recognized Ethical BioTrade standards of UEBT.
“The large majority of plant material sourced by Firmenich Grasse comes from small producers from around the world. Through improved sourcing practices, Firmenich will significantly contribute to the sustainable use of biodiversity and local development along its supply chains”, says UEBT Executive Director, Rik Kutsch Lojenga.
Biodiversity is important for the natural ingredient sector both for innovation and day-to-day sourcing. UEBT member companies commit to ensuring that their sourcing practices gradually advance sustainable business growth, local development and biodiversity conservation.
Firmenich Grasse will report annually on its UEBT membership requirements. Independent third party auditors will audit Firmenich triannually to confirm adherence with UEBT standards. Ecocert conducted the first independent audit in December 2013.