Questions and answers - Claims & Labelling

Answers to all of our most popular questions around Claims & Labelling,

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Claims & Labelling – Q&A

Why don’t I need to complete Chain of Custody anymore?
A review of how other certification systems regulate claims led to the recognition that a different strategy would be more appropriate to the LEAF Marque System. The outcome of ensuring traceability and the robustness of LEAF Marque claims is still being achieved, but the mechanism to deliver this is through Claims & Labelling rather than Chain of Custody. Whereas all LEAF Marque certified businesses were required to complete Chain of Custody, Claims & Labelling is only relevant to those making a LEAF Marque claim.

How do I complete Claims & Labelling?
The first step is that the business should determine whether or not they are the relevant Licence Holder for where a LEAF Marque claim is made – see the Claims & Labelling Guidance Document for more information. For relevant Licence Holders, the business must allocate an individual who is responsible for overseeing Claims & Labelling. The business must submit a Licence Application which involves agreeing to comply with the Claims & Labelling Licence Agreement. If this is approved, a Claims & Labelling Licence is granted which is valid for a year; after this time, another Licence Application must be submitted to renew the Licence. If the Licence is not approved, revisions must be made, or the business will not be eligible to make a LEAF Marque claim. Only the relevant Licence Holder must complete Claims & Labelling, who is either the primary supplier into retailers/food service OR brand owners. Further explanation of these terms is included in the guidance document.

How is Claims & Labelling different from Chain of Custody?
Chain of Custody aimed to map every point in the supply chain. Contrastingly, Claims & Labelling requires and recognises that businesses already have appropriate traceability systems in place. For wherever a LEAF Marque Claim is made, there must be a Claims & Labelling Licence at the highest point in the supply chain, which takes responsibility for ensuring traceability is implemented as it should be.

What is the purpose of Claims & Labelling?
As a robust certification system, it is important that there is a mechanism in place to ensure that every LEAF Marque claim delivers exactly what the LEAF Marque System requires. It is important that consumers can be confident that when they buy LEAF Marque certified products, they are receiving what they expect.

When is the change happening?
Claims & Labelling will come into effect from the 1st January 2020 and businesses must comply with the rules and requirements by 30th September 2020. We would strongly encourage businesses to review the requirements and responsibilities of Claims & Labelling as soon as they are able, to determine whether they are the appropriate Licence Holder and the rules around making a LEAF Marque claim. We have allowed this transition period as we recognise that it may take some time to review current packaging and traceability procedures, and to provide time to become familiar with the new process. We will still be taking measures to ensure LEAF Marque claims are used correctly during this transition period.

Do I need to notify anyone of this change?
Yes. Within your business, there must be effective communication to ensure that there is an individual who has been allocated as responsible for maintaining the Claims & Labelling Licence (if the business is the appropriate Licence Holder); everyone within the business should be aware of who this is and what the rules are. Outside of your business, you should notify your supply chain partners. If you are a LEAF Marque certified business who is not the relevant Licence Holder, you should inform your suppliers that they may be the relevant Licence Holder. If you are a final supplier into retailers and are the relevant Licence Holder, you should inform your suppliers of the requirements and rules to ensure they are correctly enforced.

Do I need to tell my LEAF Marque auditor of this change?
No. Claims & Labelling is relevant to all supply chain partners, not just LEAF Marque certified businesses. It is therefore included in the LEAF Marque System Rules, not the LEAF Marque Standard v15.0 and therefore will not be checked by auditors. Chain of Custody has been removed from v15.0, and each Certification Body has been informed of this change.

Is there a cost to Claims & Labelling?
To obtain a Claims & Labelling Licence, the business must have LEAF Charity Membership. A benefit included within LEAF Charity membership is the eligibility to make a LEAF Marque claim. There are no charges to complete Claims & Labelling and to obtain a Claims & Labelling Licence.

If you have any queries about Claims & Labelling, Chain of Custody, and how this applies to your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Please contact us at [email protected].