Regulations for Use of Ethically Sourced™ Certification Mark
- Regulations for governing the use of the Certification Mark as registered as Ethically Sourced
- In these Regulations unless there is anything in the context inconsistent therewith:
- "Authorised User" means any person being authorised to use the Certification Mark.
- "Supplier" means any applicant seeking to be an Authorised User
- "Ethically" means Ethically Sourced Network Ltd and Stratis Kamatsos
- "Ethically Sourced" means the Goods holding the Certification Mark to be Ethically and sustainably sourced meeting the Standards
- "Network" means solely Ethically Sourced Network Ltd.
- "Person" means any individual or any body of persons corporate or unincorporated.
- "Standards" means the Standards set out in Schedule 1
- "Certification Mark" means the pictorial certification mark shown at the head of this document
- "Goods" means the goods listed in Schedule 2.
- "Certified Goods" means the Goods that have been certified to be ethical and sustainable under the Standards and can carry the Certification Mark.
- "Fees" means the fees payable to Ethically for use of the Certification Mark.
- The Certification Mark is the absolute property of Ethically and shall not be used by any other person except under permission by Ethically. It is also hereby declared that Ethically does not carry on a business involving the supply of Goods of the kind certified.
- Any Person whose Goods have been examined by and have been deemed to meet the Standards is authorised to use the Certification Mark, subject to payment of the Fees.
- Ethically Sourced is a strategy that aims to promote sustainable and ethical production, manufacturing, and development through ethical sourcing of these goods. Our aim is to improve upon the traditional product supply chain and boost small producers/suppliers to gain a foothold in the market and effectively compete against larger competitors. This will be accomplished by the establishment and usage of the Certification Mark. These actions can lead to improvements in small producers' social and economic well-being, to environmental and social sustainability, and to the enhancement of a transparent and traceable supply chain.
- The Way Forward describes Network's wishes to see in the world and its understanding of how it will contribute to that change. More information about The Way Forward can be found on Network's website. Network aims to support ethical and sustainable small producers who are marginalised from the benefits of trade, and to promote a more transparent, fair, traceable, and ethical supply chains. Network's vision is a world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods while bringing substantial change to the conventional supply chain by using the focal point of provenance and transparency. This aims to give consumers, who are becoming increasingly aware of the need for ethical practices, comfort as to the methods employed by producers and the provenance of the goods they consume and also ultimately influence consumer behaviour.
- Our Standards ensure that everything that carries the Ethically Sourced logo will the provenance of the product to be the key aspect to have been certified. It will make sure that the product has been produced and sourced responsibly, Ethically, and sustainably, that it can be traced back to the producer, and that environment and animals have been well cared for.
- The relevant standards to be met in regards to paragraph 7 above, are shown in Schedule 1.
APPROACH TO STANDARDS
- Our approach to our Standards is based on these principles which encapsulates our definition of having Goods that are Ethically and sustainably sourced:
- Respect for the environment
This goes towards the reducing of the impacts that is placed on the environment from the sourcing, production, manufacturing and end use of the products. This includes Suppliers who make products whose use has a higher contribution to climate change, conserve existing environments and prevent the further extinction of plants and animals. Other environmentally friendly attributes include the use of sustainably grown or raised ingredients, produced in ways that do not deplete the ecosystem; organic ingredients or materials are grown without toxic pesticides or herbicides; products with "made from recycled materials" contain glass, wood, metal or plastic reclaimed from waste products and made into something new; biodegradable products break down through natural decomposition, which is less taxing on landfills and the ecosystem as a whole.
- Food Security and Traceability
Our Certification Mark confirms the product has been produced entirely from an ethical and responsible source. This not only means the finished product, but also the raw materials that were used to manufacture and product the Supplier's Goods. We require that every stage of the food journey is checked and documented, including with the use of Ethically's blockchain technology, so that all goods can be traced right back through the supply chain to the Supplier. In other words, this pertains to being able to ascertain the origin of products, ingredients and their attributes, from the farm through food processing to retail.
· Animal Welfare
Our animal welfare requirements ensure that any animals involved in the production and manufacturing of our Supplier's goods have the right living space, food, and water and are healthy. They also do not adhere to any animal testing or animal cruelty.
· Human rights
This relates that all goods that carry the Certification Mark were produced and manufactured in a way that abide by the rules and regulations of workers' rights in each country that the product is sold in (includes the conditions that they are working in and pay is fair) and that the companies have a supply chain internal policy they follow which set out these labour rights.
- The Standards have two different types of requirements:
- Foundational requirements which reflect the Ethically Sourced principles above and must be complied with.
- On-going requirements which refer to the continuous improvements that Authorised Users are to adhere to.
- The processes and procedures for evaluating the Goods are set out in Schedule 1.
- Goods will be subjected to a screening process to ensure that the Standards are met.
- Ethically Sourced develops compliance criteria to be used for making certification decisions. These compliance criteria follow the wording and objectives of the requirements in this document.
- Ethically Sourced certification and verification confirm that Suppliers comply with Standards. All Authorised Users ensure to keep Ethically informed of any supply changes, methods in production and/manufacturing, or changes to ingredients in their Goods. Authorised Users will also be required to undergo re-screening every year in order for Ethically to review the Authorised User's use of the Certification Mark.
GOODS TO WHICH THE CERTIFICATION MARK MAY BE APPLIED
- The Certification Mark shall be applied only to Goods that meet the Standards.
- The Certification Mark ensures that the Standards, as amended or updated, continue to be met and that any necessary changes have been implemented correctly.
CONDITIONS OF USE
- Ethically shall be entitled to:
- Change its Standards: i.e. add, delete, amend. If a Supplier's has Certified Goods, they are required to check the Ethically Sourced website regularly for any changes to the Standards which would be required to be implemented. Ethically will notify in any case of any proposed change to any Standards. Notification of a change to Standards will also be made by Ethically to Authorised Users.
- Change its fee structure: before any changes will be made to the fee structure, notification will be given to a member Supplier prior to any change being proposed.
- Authorised Users must amend their use of the Certification Mark to comply with additional or amended Standards within one calendar month notice thereof in writing from Ethically.
- Goods which conform to the relevant Standards and to which the Certification Mark has been applied by acceptance from Ethically shall be deemed to have been certified by Ethically.
- It is a condition of use that the Certification Mark shall not be used without indicating that it is a certification mark.
- The Certification Mark shall be applied to Goods in such a way as to be clearly visible.
- In making use of the Certification Mark the Authorised User shall not omit any part of it or make any additions to it or alter it in any other respect whatsoever.
- The Authorised User shall not make any use or cause or assist to make any use of a mark which could be regarded as a colourable imitation of or which could be considered infringement of the Certification Mark. Ethically will rigorously police any third-party imitation being used anywhere.
CANCELLATION OF CERTIFICATES IN RESPECT OF NON-USE
- If the Authorised User ceases to carry on his business, Ethically shall be entitled to withdraw permission to use the Certification Mark and will notify media and retail outlets that Authorised User has severed ties.
- If the Authorised User does not pay its fees for one year due to inactivity of business, Ethically shall have the right notify the Authorised User of its right to withdraw to use the Certification Mark. The Authorised User will then have 10 days to reply to this notification and to appeal the intent to withdraw the usage of the Certification Mark under the Appeal procedure section in these Regulations.
BREACHES OF REGULATIONS
- If an Authorised User commits a substantial breach of these regulations, fails or declines to comply with them or uses the Certification Mark in any way, which causes it to be used in an unauthorised, misleading, deceptive manner or is convicted of any offence which discredits its reputation and good faith as a trader or becomes bankrupt, it will no longer be allowed to use the Certification Mark.
- In the event of Ethically cancelling permission to use the mark, the Authorised User must relinquish any material of any kind indicating the Certification Mark or carrying an indication of the Certification Mark, and after the cancellation the Authorised User or his successor in title shall not sell, expose for sale any goods bearing the Certification Mark except with the consent of Ethically, which shall not be unreasonably withheld. Ethically is also entitled to make a public announcement declaring that the Authorised User is no longer permitted to use the Certification Mark.
- If the Certification Mark has been used by the Authorised User on goods which are in breach of these Regulations, Ethically shall be entitled to require the Authorised User to remove the Certification Mark from these goods or withdraw them from the market or exchange them for similar goods that meet the requirements of these Regulations.
- Under section 18, if the Authorised User does not make the necessary changes to the Standards after they have been amended beyond the one-month adjustment period, then Ethically has the right to revoke the usage of the Certification Mark.
- Any Supplier aggrieved by a decision made by Ethically following an assessment of the Supplier's product, a Supplier may appeal that decision within 20 calendar days. The procedure for lodging an appeal is available on request from Ethically.
- The appeal will be considered by a designated team set up to hear appeals at Ethically. The appeal decision will either:
- uphold the original decision made by Ethically; or
- indicate that the decision should be varied in accordance with the decision of a senior member of staff
- A dispute having arisen from Ethically's decision, the Authorised User can then request to have the dispute referred to and finally resolved by arbitration under the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) Rules.
- The number of arbitrators shall be one.
- The seat, or legal place, of arbitration shall be London, UK.
- The language to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be English.
- The governing law of the contract shall be the substantive law of the United Kingdom.
- Each party shall bear its own costs of arbitration except that the fees and charges of the arbitrator, if any, shall be shared equally by the Authorised User and Ethically.
- Any notice given to an Authorised User by Ethically in pursuance of these Regulations shall be deemed to have been duly given if forwarded through the post by pre-paid letter addressed to the Authorised User.
SCHEDULE 1 - THE STANDARDS
The Certification Mark will allow the Certified Goods more traceable throughout the supply chain. The Certification Mark will certify that the provenance of the products have been verified by Network.
The Network supply chain is a system for products to be traceable as Ethically and sustainably sourced. Network will not only use the verification of the Certification Mark throughout the supply chain to establish provenance and securing traceability, but also use blockchain which will allow the secure storing of information enhancing these features. The Network supply chain is open and unchangeable and can help the Suppliers ensure trust that their products are Ethically and sustainably sourced.
The Certification Mark will provide the Authorised Users' products with a digital passport that proves authenticity, origin, and create an auditable record of the journey behind the products.
All Goods will be assessed by Network to ensure that they are ethical and sustainable in accordance with the Standards. More specifically, the Certification Mark, as used or intended to be used by Authorised Users, certifies or is intended to certify that the Goods provided by that Supplier have met the Standards which have been predicated and based on the principles, as show in section 9 of this document, the Regulations.
The Goods are assessed on how and by what means they are produced and manufactured (including but not limited to the ingredients and materials used and where they are sourced from), farmed and/or purveyed.
In order for Goods to be authorised to carry the Certification Mark, they must have 1) at least 50% of its mass (composition) to have been produced, manufactured, farmed and/or purveyed from ethical and sustainable sources, which will be carried out on a case-by-case basis (Mass Balance (defined below)) and 2) to meet all the Foundational requirements. The Mass Balance will be derived from information provided by the Supplier and assessment undertaken for the Foundational requirements. The Network will look at each product and break down the ingredients/elements and assess each of these, with reference to the Foundational requirements, regarding its production, manufacturing, farming and/or purveyance to determine the ethicality and sustainability sourcing of these individual elements that make up the Goods.
Once the Certification Mark has been authorised to be used on the Goods, the Authorised User will continue to adhere to the Standards. Ongoing supervision of the usage of the Certification Mark by the Authorised User will be made by the mark supervision group. The mark supervision group is responsible for the monitoring of the use of the Certification Mark by each Authorised User. The group will monitor the usage using online research means, grassroots monitoring through a peer-to-peer anonymous proctor system, and if needed an on-site random audit check of the Authorised User's premise. A full audit assessment, based on Section E of the Regulations, will also be carried out bi-annually for each Authorised User. In addition, any documentation that may be needed by the mark supervision group to carry on their continuous assessment, will be requested by Ethically to Authorised User.
Terms are defined below:
"Ethical" means having to do with morality, of or conforming to standards of humane and moral conduct of a given profession or group.
"Sustainable" means providing environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting public health and environment over a product's whole life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials until the final disposal.
"Ethically Sourced" means the process of ensuring the products and/or goods being sourced are obtained in a responsible and sustainable way, that the workers involved in making them are safe and treated fairly, that environmental and social impacts are taken into consideration during the sourcing process, and that animals are being treated in a humane and respectful manner, observing their welfare. It also means respecting the international standards against criminal conduct, human rights abuses and animal rights abuses.
"Produced" means to make or grow something, especially in large quantities and in order to be sold
"Manufactured" means a good that is produced mainly by the application of labour and capital to raw materials and other intermediate inputs.
"Farmed" means to devote to agriculture, to manage and cultivate as a farm, and to grow or cultivate in quantity
"Purveyed" means to provide goods;
"Mass Balance" means the accounting of quantities of raw materials (inputs or ingredients), waste, work-in-progress and finished product (including content packaging and adhesive labels)
When setting the Standards, Ethically follows certain internationally recognised
standards and conventions, in particular those of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Standards for Animal Welfare of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OiE), and the Environmental and Social Management Guidelines of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Ethically also has a standard operating procedure for setting the Standards, which can be found in Schedule 3. The procedure is designed in compliance with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards.
These are the Foundational requirements of the Supplier relating to the certification of the Goods and the scope of the Standards. The intent is to provide the necessary framework for the effective implementation of the Standards.
- You accept to provide any information in relation to Standards at the request of Ethically (Foundational)
- You appoint a contact person for all certification matters. This person keeps Ethically updated with contact details and important information relating to certification and to the Certification Mark (Foundational)
- There are no indications that your company or organisation, including any Persons involved in the company, violates any national or international legislation on the topics covered by the Standards, and there is no indication that you deliberately take actions to evade the Standards (Foundational)
- When you sell Goods you identify clearly in the related documents (e.g. invoices,
delivery notes) that the product is sourced and traded on Ethically Sourced terms (Foundational)
- You keep records of all the sales of your Goods. Those records indicate the volume sold, the name of the buyer, the date of the transaction and a reference to sales documents in such a way that Ethically is able to link these records with the corresponding sales documents if needed for an emergency situation, included but not limited to, a recall of Certified Goods. (Foundational).
- Audits: You accept announced and unannounced audits of your premises and subcontracted premises and provide any information in relation to the Standards at the request of the certification body. You must also appoint a contact person for all certification matters. This person keeps the certification body updated with contact details and important information relating to the Certification Mark.
· GETTING CERTIFIED
- Express intention to get started and be certified. Once Ethically has your details, Ethically will send you an initial questionnaire application.
- Based on the review of the answers of the application, Ethically will assess the certifiability of you as a Supplier. If a Supplier is found to be certifiable from the initial application, Ethically will contact the Supplier for an audit. This audit be for checking whether the Supplier complies with the Standards. The length and complexity of the audit will depend on the size and organisational set-up of the Supplier, and the number of Goods a Supplier wants certified.
- Ethically will contact the Supplier to discuss any further documents will be required. Ethically may conduct an on-site visit or conduct any necessary video meetings with staff or management of the Supplier if it is required. Then, the auditor will share the assessment with Supplier. If a decision of non-confirmity is given, then Ethically will work with Supplier to explore opportunities to develop practices to meet the Standards for the Certification Mark.
- If Ethically makes a decision that Supplier is ready to become an Authorised User, then Ethically will issue the Certification Mark for use on the Goods.
- Once Supplier becomes an Authorised User, an annual certification cycle will be entered. During this time, Ethically may carry out further audits. Ethically will issue a renewed Authorised User status for the next certification cycle, if the renewal audit is successful.
· The assessment / screening process involves the following stages:
i. Initial questionnaire to be filled in by Suppliers
- This will be a declaration by the Supplier that the Goods that are to be considered to carry the Certification Mark fulfil the Standards criteria.
- Interview with key staff members may be required for clarification purposes.
- Documents that will be required by Network to be provided for assessment. These include, but not limited to, certifications, licenses, internal policy plans relating to the Standards. No business sensitive documents will be requested.
iii. Search through databases for validation of authenticity
iv. Investigation into ingredients and/or materials
v. Investigation into facilities, manufacturing, and production
vi. Screening by Ethically and predictive assessment on Goods for conformity as being ethical and sustainable
- Internal preliminary assessment performed based on documentation and information received.
- Any matter for rectification for conformity with the Standards will be made at this stage and parties will work together to resolve the issue
vii. Final assessment and decision
· Environmental (Foundational)
i. Suppliers must be aware of any practices that have an adverse environmental impact. Important features of biodiversity and conservation value are identified on and around the Suppliers' facilities that the production or manufacturing method does not have any deliberate and avoidable negative impacts on the environment.
- Ongoing: Practices are adopted to minimise detrimental impact on such features and consideration has been given to how the environment can be managed for the benefit of the local community, flora and fauna
ii. Suppliers shall aim to reduce the effects of climate change and to mitigate their impact contributing to it, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and to be energy efficient. Where a business uses a significant amount of energy, the use of renewable energy is encouraged and plans are in place to ensure optimal energy consumption.
iii. The protection of biodiversity, where applicable for each Supplier. These benefits include enhanced water conservation, soil fertility, forests and vegetation, prevention of deforestation, a reserve of products important to local communities unless it is absolutely necessary for specific products that a Supplier cannot avoid and can provide proof as such.
iv. Facilities must be maintained in a manner that does not present risks to food safety or environmental protection.
v. Organisation has a management system that identifies waste and measures taken to reduce wastage and, whenever possible, recycle to avoid use of landfill or burning.
vi. Organisation aims to minimise environmental pollution from production/manufacturing processes.
vii. Measures should be in place to prevent pollution of the local environment and just an outline of these measures will suffice
· Labour (Foundational)
i. Suppliers should have an internal policy that sets out the conditions that their employees are working in who play an important part in manufacturing, producing, sourcing or farming their Goods.
ii. Suppliers must strive to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, age, religion, political opinion, membership of unions or other workers' representative bodies.
iii. There should be no abuse of any kind and no tolerance to gender-based violence and other forms of violence.
iv. Suppliers do not directly or indirectly engage in exploitation, forced labour, including slave, bonded or involuntary prison labour.
v. Suppliers do not employ children below the age of 15 or under the age defined by national law, whichever is higher.
vi. Suppliers ensure that all workers are free to join a workers' organization of their own choosing, and that workers are free to participate in group negotiations regarding their working conditions.
vii. Suppliers have set fair salaries for workers according to collective bargaining agreement regulations, in jurisdictions where they exist, and/or on the regional average wages and/or the employment laws dealing with national wages and salaries.
viii. To make work processes, workplaces, machinery and equipment on production site safe (Foundational and Ongoing).
- Traceability and Food Safety (Foundational)
i. In order to secure the traceability of the Supplier's products which will be enhanced with the Certification Mark, systems must be in place that deliver traceability of product throughout the operation. This includes product identification, coding, certification and other indicators throughout the operation, which includes sourcing, production and manufacturing of the Certified Goods.
- Ongoing: Records of a product traceability check: paperwork for the product traceability check demonstrates that the traceability system is effective - where the traceability check shows that improvements to the system are required there is evidence that the improvements have been implemented.
- Ongoing:Records to keep include name and address of business that are being supplied, type of and quantity of products, dates of transaction, of delivery and batch numbers. Records of this nature will be kept for traceability purposes to enhance the supply chain, but also to have an effective response in case of emergency, included but not limited to, a recall of Certified Goods.
ii. The Supplier should have in place or develop and maintain appropriate procedures and systems to ensure identification and verification of origin of any out-sourced product and/ or ingredient.
iii. Supplier shall keep complete records of batches of in-process or final product and packaging throughout the production process.
iv. Suppliers shall have a documented plan in place for the effective management of serious incidents and potential emergency situations (including food safety incidents which may lead to/ include a product withdrawal or product recall).
v. The Suppliers will be required to have six main fields to be present on their Goods
- Product Name
- Unique Identifier - A GS1 or equivalent barcode
- Batches Info (With Field Subsets)
- Suppliers must be able to provide the following subset categories for their batches:
i. Batch/Lot Number
ii. Production Date
iii. Best Before Date, YYMMDD
iv. Net Weight in kg
v. Dimensions per box and batch, in metres
vi. Customer Purchase Order Number
vii. Shipment Tracking Number
- Supplier name and info
- Product origin and place bottled/sealed
- Animal welfare (Foundational)
i. Suppliers who deal with animals in their process of manufacturing, producing, and/or farming, are responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met. They must show that they abide by local laws as well as internal policy that they are adhering to the welfare of the animals. If there is uncertainty by a Supplier, a good basis for minimum standards to implement (coupled with the ones set out below) are the standards endorsed by the Humane League (www.thehumaneleague.org).
- Ongoing: These include, but not limited to, the need for a suitable environment (place to live), for a suitable diet, to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, to be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable), to be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease.
ii. Suppliers must ensure that the animals are free from hunger and thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour; free from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area; freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment; free to express normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animals own kind; free from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and care which avoid mental suffering.
iii. The environment in which livestock are housed must be conducive to the animals' good health.
iv. Suppliers must make sure that all animals are maintained in good health and those that are sick or injured receive prompt treatment.
v. Ongoing: Suppliers are to promote continuous improvement in animal welfare, and encourage implementation of a welfare management system that will promote a systematic pro-active approach to animal welfare improvement.
vi. The Supplier should have in place or develop and maintain appropriate procedures and systems to ensure identification of any out-sourced animal product or any materials derived from animals to be sure of its ethical and sustainable origin.
SCHEDULE 2 - THE GOODS
Class 3: Cosmetics; Toiletries; Essential oils and aromatic extracts; Cleaning and fragrancing preparations
Birds eggs and egg products; Dairy products and dairy substitutes; Edible oils and fats; Fish, seafood and molluscs, not live; Meat and meat products; Soups and stocks, meat extracts; Processed fruits, fungi, vegetables, nuts and pulses; Sausage skins and imitations thereof; Guacamole [mashed avocado]; Prepared snails [escargot].
Coffee, teas and cocoa and substitutes therefor; Ice, ice creams, frozen yogurts and sorbets; Processed grains, starches, and goods made thereof, baking preparations and yeasts; Salts, seasonings, flavourings and condiments; Sugars, natural sweeteners, sweet coatings and fillings, bee products; Frozen pizzas; Grain-based chips.
Class 32: Beer and brewery products; Non-alcoholic beverages; Non-alcoholic preparations for making beverages.
Alcoholic beverages (except beer); Preparations for making alcoholic beverages; Alcoholic preparations for making beverages; Cider.
Ethically is responsible for developing (i.e. preparing, reviewing, amending, adapting) and revising Standards. Suppliers and their Goods must meet applicable standards for their Goods to be certified with the Certification Mark.
Ethically includes the pricing team and the Standards team for the purpose of Standards review.
The purpose of this Schedule is to describe the procedure by which the Standards are developed and implemented by Ethically.
The procedure that is used by Ethically to develop (prepare, review, amend, adapt) and revise a standard is described in terms of the steps that are common to the various types of projects that Ethically undertakes. As such, the procedure outlined below does not relate to the development of a specific standard or the revision of an existing standard, but illustrates in generic terms the procedure that Ethically manages. The procedure described in the following sections is also depicted at the end of this paper.
Based on the approved Standards, the Supplier will be assessed in the certification procedure for their Goods to have the Certification Mark and for them to become an Authorised User.
Submission of standard request
Ethically undertakes a standard assessment upon receipt of a formal request and is included in the Ethically work plan once it has been approved.
A standard request explains the rationale of the project and clarifies its scope, objectives and expected impact.
Assessment and approval of standard request
It is the responsibility of Ethically to manage and evaluate Standards requests and to decide whether to accept them or not, with or without changes. Only where a substantial need for an amendment or addition to the Standard can be identified will Ethically consider the request. The evaluation needs assessment included in the Standard request looks at whether the proposal fits into the objectives and strategic directions of Ethically, whether an existing Standard already encompasses the proposal partially or entirely, and whether the demand can be satisfied by the development of a Standard. The decision to set or revise a Standard is also determined by an evaluation of the risk assessment in the Standard request. The evaluation looks at the potential risks related to the implementation of the standard, unintended consequences, threats to the achievement of its objectives, and proposals on how to mitigate or correct them. Finally, Ethically makes an assessment of the standard request on the basis of funding and resources, broadly considering the scope of the implementation. As part of the evaluation of a Standards request Ethically makes a judgement as to the breadth of impact of a Standard change to or introduction of a Standard, as well as to the scope of the Standard.
During the research stage of a Standards assessment, input from stakeholders, internal sources and external sources is collected. This work is typically undertaken by Ethically but in some cases it can be outsourced to an external consultant under the management of Ethically.
The nature of the research undertaken varies according to the type of application or request. Particularly for new product categories, Ethically may rely on existing information from feasibility studies to gain a better understanding of the product, the producers, the supply chain, the market and the specific Ethically objectives and the desired impacts related to that product.
For Standards request, a questionnaire is typically sent to stakeholders requesting input regarding the content of the Standard under development. Ethically will collect and analyses the input from stakeholders.
Ethically will also review the relevant sections of current Standards that may overlap with the Standard under development to ensure alignment and consistency in all Standards. Throughout the research stage of a request, Ethically works to develop a draft standard (hereafter "draft') reflecting the data and responses from the questionnaire. Ethically may consult with outside consultants during this process of drafting Standards to obtain feedback on the verifiability of the proposed standard and on whether compliance with the standard is feasible for Suppliers. Whenever possible, Ethically carries out tests to assess the feasibility and auditability of the proposed draft standard.
A final draft must be formally approved by Ethically in order to be introduced as a Standard. A draft may or may not be approved by Ethically. If there any objections from stakeholders and/or Suppliers and they are feasible and viable objections, Ethically will assess these objections and answer them accordingly before any approval of the Standard has taken place. If a draft is not approved, Ethically will assess any changes that should be made and further research that is required.
Once the standard has been finalised, a revision of all the Standards will be made. At the end of the Standards revision, where relevant, indicators to monitor the expected outcomes of the Standard will be agreed by Ethically in order to build a learning cycle in the revision of Standards.
Once published, Suppliers may send feedback to email@example.com. Ethically continuously collects feedback from Suppliers for the next review. After a period of up to one year after the implementation of the Standard, when deemed necessary, the accumulated proposals and the feedback on a Standard are evaluated. Ethically decides on and initiates an assessment as to implement changes and/or to review the standard. When taking this decision Ethically considers the amount and the importance of the proposals and feedback in relation to the stated objectives of the standard.