Who are we?
The COSMOS-standard AISBL* is a not-for-profit, international association registered in Belgium. It was set up to own, manage and develop the COSMOS-standard as an international (and internationally accepted) standard for organic and natural cosmetics.
We are a membership organisation and anyone can join. If you are a national, European or international association, then you can be a full member (with voting rights). If you are a company or an individual, then you can be an associate member (no voting rights). In this way, we can ensure that our Standard and its management are entirely independent of any commercial interest and it can serve all stakeholders and the environment with integrity.
The AISBL was founded in 2010 by the five main European (and international) organisations involved with organic and natural cosmetics standards: BDIH in Germany, Cosmebio and Ecocert in France, ICEA in Italy, and Soil Association in the UK. They recognised that the cosmetics market and the cosmetics industry are both international, and therefore both consumers and companies are best served by a single international standard, as this is the only way to ensure the same clarity, integrity and consumer trust in all countries and markets, coupled with manufacturing efficiency and sustainable development.
These organisations therefore came together in a spirit of cooperation for the public good to develop the COSMOS-standard. Once established they formed a non-profit international association to own, manage and develop the Standard, to be independent and open to all.
* AISBL stands for ’Association Internationale Sans But Lucratif’ (English translation: international association without lucrative purpose) and is the formal designation for such organisations under Belgian law.
What we do
As we (in other words, all our members) own the COSMOS-standard, our main work is to manage, promote and protect it. We do this by authorising and overseeing high quality and harmonised certification using well defined, comprehensive and independent procedures. Thus you can be assured that any COSMOS ORGANIC and COSMOS NATURAL product has been produced and manufactured in accordance with our strict standards and has been certified as such by a competent and professional certification body which itself has been approved by an independent accreditation body.
But the COSMOS-standard is also progressive. The organic and natural cosmetics industry is still small and relatively new, and its requirements are already a big step up from conventional cosmetics. However, there is still a long way to go to achieve more organic ingredients and more environmentally friendly manufacturing. Therefore the Standard includes progressive steps in that direction and our aim is to continue this process as technology development and more widespread organic farming allow.
Of course, organic and natural cosmetics don’t operate in a vacuum – they are influenced by both government policy and consumer interest and demand. Therefore we also provide representation, communication and information exchange between members and other stakeholders with the aim of improving the policy environment for organic and natural cosmetics and to foster wider public awareness.
Why choose us?
We are independent and proud of it, owned by associations that support our aims, not by companies with commercial interest. We are open to all who share our aims. Our roots are deep in the organic farming movement and in the ethos of natural cosmetics. We work in the public interest for a better environment, for better products with more organic content that consumers can trust, therefore for a better market.
Board of directors
The board of directors is elected by the voting members every year. The current board (below) was elected in June 2014.
Harald Dittmar (Chairman)
Harald studied Law in Heidelberg, Germany and since 1988 he is a German attorney and owner of the law firm Dittmar Rechtsanwälte specialized in food and cosmetics law as well as competition law.
Since 1992 he is also Managing Director of BDIH (Federation of Industries and Trading firms for pharmaceuticals, health care goods, food supplements and cosmetic products) in Mannheim, Germany, an association with more than 400 international member companies. BDIH introduced the first European guideline for natural cosmetics.
Harald also is a board member of the European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM), Brussels.
Valérie Lemaire (Technical Coordinator)
Currently General Manager with ECOCERT Greenlife.
Valérie is an Engineer who has a PhD in Agro-resources Chemistry. After having worked in the industry of raw materials for cosmetics, she joined ECOCERT in 2002 where she developed the certification of organic cosmetics. Since 2009 she has worked as General Manager of ECOCERT Greenlife
Pierre CHARLIER de CHILY (Secretary)
Specialist in lipochemistry and developer of innovative molecules coming from Green Chemistry, Pierre has over 20 years of experience in developing green solutions for industrial applications and holds over 10 patents. In 1999, he founded Aldivia, an innovative company dedicated to designing, producing and selling ingredients. Since 2003, he is the Secretary General of COSMEBIO and was nominated representative of COSMEBIO in the board of COSMOS-standard since 2010.
Paolo Foglia (Treasurer)
Katrin Hochberg (COSMOS General Manager)
Patricia Gallagher (COSMOS Project Support)
Francis Blake (COSMOS Chief Advisor)