07 Oct We Proudly Introduce Consumer-Led Product Testing
We are very excited to sponsor and support what we believe is the most exciting new development in the natural and organic products industry.
TOPIC stands for Testing of Products Initiated by Consumers and retailers like us. TOPIC will test the authenticity of natural and organic products and aims to protect the consumer from false claims and mislabeling.
As you well know, at Faithful to Nature we get out of bed every morning with a single-minded mission to help our customers find safer and better products that they can trust. We firmly believe that consumers deserve to be able to buy good product and trust that claims are genuine. There are also many businesses that are working very hard to create good product and thus they too need to be protected by their claims carrying weight and meaning something to the customer. We believe that TOPIC has massive potential to support this right.
Product testing will raise the ethics in the industry and the consumer will benefit from knowing that natural and organic claims are being tested and regulated as a result. I am personally passionately adamant that every one of us that cares about the industry need to support this powerful project.
We won’t know how rife mislabeling is in SA until we actually test claims. But I do know that there seems to be many more negative rather than positive stories of claims being made. These will just remain stories however until we put regulation via testing in place. My experience has been that suppliers that are weary of sharing full ingredient lists have something to hide. I know that if I had to make a product that was genuinely as good as I claimed it to be that the aspect of my product that I would be the most proud of would be my ingredient list. The ingredients in a product are the crux of its value. Suppliers need to care more about what it is going into the products that they promote and customers too need to care more about reading ingredient lists. We do a lot of education and promotion around the value of ingredient lists and urge our customers to become ingredient detectives at every chance, but this means nothing if we cannot trust that ingredient listings are completely transparent and genuine. At the same time, I believe that suppliers should be very excited to have a body that can test their products and confirm that they are as good as they claim them to be!
TOPIC has selected independent laboratories that can isolate ingredients and conduct additional testing, and will follow-up with factory and farm visits to ensure that all certifications and claims are thoroughly investigated. Results will be published on their website (www.topic.org.za) and sent to interested consumers, retailers and the media.
Consumers; suppliers and retailers alike can go to the website, donate towards testing and ask for their products to be tested. TOPIC randomly chooses products to be tested and is only limited by the amount of funding available. The more funding, the more tests that can be done.
Ultimately, TOPIC aims to increase confidence in organic and natural products as testing will enable the consumer to genuinely trust the labels attached to their favourite products.
Interested consumers and retailers can get more information from the website and the facebook page.