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Short descriptionThe Union for Ethical BioTrade is a non-profit association that promotes the “Sourcing with Respect” of ingredients that come from biodiversity. Members commit to gradually ensuring that their sourcing practices promote the conservation of biodiversity, respect traditional knowledge and assure the equitable sharing of benefits all along the supply chain. UEBT Trading members can work in the following sectors, personal care, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and food. UEBT aims to help private sector to be more involved in Ethical sourcing of biodiversity following the Ethical BioTrade standard.
Facts and Figures*48 UEBT members: 32 trading members and 16 Affiliate Members *3.10 billion EUR Turnover of Trading Members *11 qualified Verification Bodies *38 auditors trained in UEBT Verification System
Key features* There are two types of membership to the UEBT: trading members and affiliate members. * The Ethical BioTrade Standard is based on seven Principles and Critieria (i) conservation of biodiversity, (ii) sustainable use of biodiversity, (iii) fair and equitable sharing of benefits, (iv) socio-economic criteria, (v) compliance with national and international regulations, (vi) respect for the rights of actors involved in BioTrade activities, and (vii) clarity about land tenure, use and access to natural resources and knowledge. * UEBT membership is based on a verification system and not a certification program.
Product specific / Process specific / Service Specific / GenericProduct specific
Last up-date in Standards Map25.02.2016
AddressSecretariat De Ruyterkade 6 1013 AA Amsterdam The Netherlands
Telephone+ 31 20 223 4567
Description of geographic scopeUnion for Ethical Bio Trade is applicable in the following countries and regions
Source of information
Region - AfricaGhana,Madagascar,Malawi,Mozambique,Swaziland,United Republic of Tanzania,Zimbabwe
Region - Asianull
Region - EuropeFrance,Switzerland,United Kingdom
Region - Central AmericaNicaragua
Region - North America
Region - South AmericaBrazil,Colombia,Peru
Region - Australasia
DescriptionThe UEBT Ethical BioTrade Standard applies to all natural ingredients of the organisation’s portfolio. For the purpose of the UEBT Membership, natural ingredient is an ingredient that comes from plants or animals or that includes plant or animal inputs, even if these inputs have been significantly processed. These natural ingredients may come from wild collection and/or cultivation practices. The Ethical BioTrade Standard is particularly meant to apply to natural ingredients used in the cosmetics, food and pharmaceutical sectors, but might also be relevant for other sectors that use natural ingredients.
Step 1The membership application process is different for the membership categories (trading members and affiliate members). Information provided below relates to Trading members. Prospective trading members are required to submit an application form to the UEBT Secretariat.
Étape 2The application form will be reviewed by UEBT’ s Membership Committee, which will check if the applicant is ineligible for membership. Applicants must pay a registration fee, which is half of the annual membership fee, with a minimum payment of 200 EUR.
Step 3Within six months of being awarded the approved candidate status, the candidate must undergo an independent third party audit by one of the verification bodies qualified by the UEBT.
Step 4Assuming the audit confirms that the admissible candidate meets the baseline requirements for membership (entry indicators), the approved candidate will be granted provisional member status. The provisional members then required to prepare a three-year work-plan that leads the organisation towards compliance with the UEBT membership conditions and obligations. The work-plan needs to be approved by the verification body. The Provisional member will pay the annual membership fee, adjusted for the number of months remaing in the calendar year.
Step 5Submission to the UEBT secretariat of the full and public audit report, and of the three-year work-plan. The public documents are evaluated and approved by UEBT Membership Committee, based on which, membership status is granted. Trading Members will maintain their membership status as long as the annual membership fee is paid and they show progress in their work plans via annual reports, according to the Membership conditions and obligations for Trading members.
Step 6NA
Step 7NA
Step 8NA
Step 9NA
Step 10NA
Inspection, audit, verification processUEBT Trading members are audited every 3 years against the Ethical BioTrade Standard to show their progress and the quality of the information shared during this period. Every UEBT members shall report annualy on its activites and progress in the Ethical BioTrade implementation.
Type of assessment requiredThird-party audit is required
Frequency of audits or assessmentsOther
Validity of certificateMemberhsip certificates are issued every year upon compliance with the Membership Conditions and Obligations for Trading Members - (GOV25 - Membership conditions and obligation for Trading Members)
Processus d’obtention de la première vérification/certification1. Submission of a filled application form 2. Revision of this application by the UEBT Membership Committee 3. Third-party audit done 4. Assuming the organization meets the entry indicators, development of a 3-year work-plan to reach compliance over time 5. Final approval by the relevant UEBT committees and implementation of the continuous improvement approach on Biodiversity
Average duration of the full process to get verified/certified the first time - Less than 3 months
Average duration of the full process to get verified/certified the first time - Bw 3 and 6 months
Average duration of the full process to get verified/certified the first time - Bw 6 and 12 months
Average duration of the full process to get verified/certified the first time - More than12 months
Depends on factors
Average duration of inspection, audit, verification - 1-2 weeks
Average duration of inspection, audit, verification - 1-2 months
Average duration of inspection, audit, verification - More than 2 months
Requirement - Immediate actionUEBT Entry indicators are presented in the Standards Map website as "critical requirements".
Requirement - Witin 1 yearNot applicable.
Requirement - Witin 3 yearsExcept from the Entry indicators, the other indicators of the Ethical BioTrade standard are identified as "medium-term requirements" in Standards Map.
Requirement - Witin 5 yearsNot applicable.
RecomendationsNot applicable.
Pass or failStep II: Within 6 months, the Approved Candidate will hire an independent Verification Body qualified by UEBT to verify the fulfillment of the Entry Indicators, and create a baseline analysing the gaps between the prospective Trading Members' activities and the Ethical BioTrade Standard.
ScoringThe independent audit process is based on a dioganosis of the organisation's Biodiversity Management System against the Ethical BioTrade Standard. This analysis uses a scoring system described in the UEBT system.
Traffic LightNot applicable.
Corrective ActionsNot applicable.
Major non-compliance
Minor non-compliance
Verification/certification costs - estimateNo estimate available.
Main factors of costNumber of workers,Number of production units,Volumes of production,Area covered
Responsible entity for certification costProducers / companies,Producers' associations,Traders and supply chain intermediaries,Intermediaries,Buyers and retailers,NGO's,Standard-setting organization
External audits costsNot applicable
External audits corrective actionsNot applicable
Implementation costs - estimatesNo estimate available.
Responsible entity for implementaiton costProducers' associations
Membership fee - estimateUEBT membership fees for Trading and Affiliate Members are based on the turnover, operating expenses or assets of the previous calendar year, whichever applies. The basis for calculation of the fee and the formula used to calculate membership fees are as shown in the tables on website:
Existence of documented policy for products labelling
Description of policy for products labellingThis policy summarizes the claims that Trading Members of the Union for Ethical BioTrade can make regarding their membership. The table in policy documents gives an overview of which claims can be made in different communication situations. Annexes 1 to 4 provide additional specifications regarding the use of the logo and the use of clarifying statements. All members shall sign a license agreement regarding the use of the UEBT’s name and logo.
On-product claims
Off-product claims
Policy on how the claim is delivered (on/off product, use of seal/logo...)
Policy for payment of a specific fee for using seal/logo by producers/exporters
Policy for payment of a specific fee for using seal/logo by traders/retailers
Policy for payment of a membership fee, which allows for using seal/logo
Labelling fee - if applicableNot applicable.
Source of informationNo information.
The standard initiative specifically targets some key
Target constituentSmall-scale producers and producers groups,Small and medium-sized enterprises,Large-scale enterprises,Vulnerable and minority groups,Community-based organizations
Is the standard system accessible to any interested producer/supplier?
In terms of membership?Membership is required - against payment of a fee
Which party initiates the process of certification/verification?Anyone in the value chain can join and initiate the process
Who can join the initiative and use the standard / code?Private and public companies, trade associations, NGOs, community producers or collectors, national biotrade programmes, and any other organisation active in the biotrade arena can apply for UEBT membership.
Who is initiating the process of applying the standard?Primary producer,Suppliers and intermediaries,Traders,Buyers and Retailers
Are there specific requirements / restrictions on who can apply for certification?
Standard documents
URL(s) where documents can be downloaded
ListStandards 2012 version: STD01 – Ethical BioTrade Standard 2012-04-11 EN, FR, ES, PT Report on the first consultation phase of the UEBT standard revision, 2011 Final report on the public consultations of the UEBT standard revision, 2012 2007 version – no longer in use: STD01 - BioTrade Verification Framework for Native Nat. Ingredients EN, FR, ES
Interpretation guidelines
URL(s) where documents can be downloaded
List PRO03 - D - Guidance to the Application of the Verification Framework GUI20 Allanblackia guide

Information last updated in the Standards Map database:

  • Union for Ethical BioTrade - UEBT - 25.02.2016