The Ethical BioTrade verification system relies as much as possible on existing mechanisms. As such, it avoids developing an accreditation system. Field-tests with different verification bodies, pertaining to different accreditation/endorsement systems, have been carried out in several countries in Latin America and Africa. It is based on these experiences that the following requirements have been decided upon regarding the qualification of auditors and accreditation.
Requirements for carrying out verification of producers
Accreditation under ISO/IEC Guide 65 (General Requirement for Bodies Operating Product Certification Systems) in relation to natural resource management, and recognized by an ethical certification scheme, with emphasis on the latter.
Auditors need to be able to interpret the requirements of the Verification Framework in contexts that vary significantly and cannot all be described in a guidance document. They may also need to assess whether the work plan for complying with the P&Cs is realistic. For this reasons they need to be experienced in schemes verifying standards related to sustainable development.
Requirements for carrying out verification of buyers
Accreditation under ISO/IEC Guide 65, recognition by an ethical certification scheme, and ISO 19011 (Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing), with emphasis on the latter.
The transmission of the requirements of the Verification Framework from buyers up to producers relies intensively on the existence of effectively implemented management systems. Additionally, buyers can be fairly large and complex organizations. As such, auditors need to be trained in management system auditing.
At present time, as a result of field tests, the following ethical verification systems have been identified as responding to the Union’s requirements in terms of auditors’ qualification and accreditation:
- Forest Stewardship Council: 16 certification bodies, from small NGOs to transnational companies. Certification operational in 77 countries.
- RainForest Alliance/ SAN (Sustainable Agriculture Network): 10 certification bodies in Latin America and USA, all NGOs. Certification operational in 17 countries (Latin America, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Philippines).
Organisations that comply with the requirements above, and that are interested in becoming auditors recognised by the Union should send a request to the Union. The request should provide insight in the experience and credentials of the applicant. The request will be evaluated by the Union. If positive, the applicant will be included in the roster of pre-qualified organisations.
The following documents are available for the Union’s members, verifiers and support organisations.
- Guidance for the application of the BioTrade Verification, Framework for Native Natural Ingredients, Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), 2007-09-20
- Critical path for producer organizations, Union for Ethical BioTrade, November 2006.
- UNCTAD BioTrade Initiative, BioTrade Principles and Criteria, UNITED NATIONS, New York and Geneva, 2007, UNCTAD/DITC/TED/2007/4 (English & Spanish)
- BioTrade Verification Framework for Native Natural Ingredients, Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), IS 2007-09-20
- Cadre de vérification pour le BioCommerce des ingrédients natifs naturels, Union pour le Biocommerce Ethique (UEBT) IS 2007-09-20
- Marco de verificación de Biocomercio para ingredientes naturales nativos, Unión para el Biocomercio Ético (UEBT) IS 2007-09-20