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Hawthorne Valley Farm • Ghent, New York

Biodynamic Farm

Hawthorne Valley Farm • Ghent, New York
Grgich Hills Estate • Rutherford, CA

Biodynamic Farm

Grgich Hills Estate • Rutherford, CA
Hoskins Berry Farm • Kings Valley, OR

Biodynamic Farm

Hoskins Berry Farm • Kings Valley, OR
Avena Botanicals • Rockport, ME

Biodynamic Farm

Avena Botanicals • Rockport, ME

Notes from the Marketplace Archives

TRUTH IN LABELING
Part Two

or
“When I use a word… it means just what I choose it to mean--- neither more nor less.”
Humpty Dumpty to Alice, Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6

What happens when a body care company that may have the best intentions creates consumer confusion because the way they present their products- in labeling, in their marketing, with their retailers - is at odds with what’s in the bottle? Do consumers deserve complete transparency in terms of what their products are made with and how they are made? How important is third-party certification? Are the standards that define the certification as important to protect as the products themselves?

These are questions that we, as consumers, should ask ourselves. Of course, as the certifier of Biodynamic® farms and products, you probably know where Demeter stands. And we are definitely not alone. Despite the sluggish economy, Biodynamic certification is growing at 15% per year here in the US, adding to the ranks of more than 4,500 Biodynamic producers worldwide. What is particularly exciting is that the Biodynamic standard is being positioned as the promise of organic delivered, a standard that not only reflects the best example of ecological farming, but also delivers the purest products. This year, Demeter’s voice will be heard at the national level. I will be speaking at the National Press Club in Washington DC, at the invitation of the Washington Spa Alliance, because its leadership believes that the Demeter Biodynamic® Processing Standard for body care represents the best opportunity for the beauty care industry to align behind a meaningful standard. I will also be speaking at the annual LOHAS conference in Boulder Colorado on "The Future of Food". Both of these opportunities underscore the marketplace’s view that Biodynamic certification is now the gold standard in farming and processing.

Unfortunately because of the increasing value of Biodynamic certification, pressure is being brought to bear by companies that wish to call their products “biodynamic” without meeting the certification requirements. This pressure is now showing up as an assault on the certification mark itself: Demeter is being challenged in federal court by Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc., in an attempt to destroy the safeguards embodied in the Biodynamic certification program by claiming that it, and indeed any company, should be able to use the term in whatever way it wishes. Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc. claims “that under any circumstance” it should be free to label and sell its products, and present them at retail and to the consumer, as “biodynamic,” even if the individual products carry no Biodynamic-certified ingredients.

Further, in the lawsuit, Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc. states that it has no intention of meeting the Biodynamic standard because it is “unrealistic and futile” despite the fact that there are Demeter-certified Biodynamic body care products in the market right now (check out Eminence’s recent release of two Biodynamic skin care products here).

Despite its stated unwillingness to bring Demeter certified products to market, Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc. continues to create a perception that its uncertified products are “biodynamic.” Have you had this impression? Instead of investing its time and resources in improving its products by achieving certification, Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc. has chosen to bring a lawsuit that has neither factual support nor legal foundation.

Demeter will protect this important ecological farming system and safeguard the unbroken chain of accountability from the farm to the finished product that is guaranteed through certification. We will stand for consumers’ rights to know what they are putting in and on their bodies by championing truth in labeling: ensuring that what’s on the label is what’s in the bottle. We think you, your family, and our community deserve nothing less. What do you think?

For more information:

Demeter International Letter of Support

Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc. v. Demeter Assoc. Inc.
Complaint for cancellation of certification mark

Demeter Association, Inc. Answer and Counterclaims

Demeter Responds to Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc.

- Elizabeth Candelario
Marketing Director, Demeter Assoc.
President, Stellar Certification Services

 

 

“When it comes to purity at the cosmetics counter, organic is taking a back seat to a green standard so pure it’s practically virginal.  Biodynamic, a system of natural farming conceived in the Twenties, is quickly gaining a following as many brands up the ante in the battle for the eco-conscious consumer’s carbon footprint-free cash.” 
  WWD Beauty Biz, “How Does Your Garden Grow”, Megan McIntyre March 2008

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