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Consumer Safety

The safety of our products is of paramount concern to our consumers and to us.  It is our responsibility to ensure that all of our products are safe and meet the performance expectations of consumers in whichever market we are operating.

Consumer safety starts at the product design stage and continues through material sourcing and manufacturing. Our approach to product safety adopts the following key principles:

  • Compliance with all Country, Regional or Global regulations and guidelines on materials usage, manufacturing and labelling.
  • Wherever possible we adopt a common Global standard which means we exceed local regulations in many countries.
  • When making safety assessments, we consider the intended use of our products and, additionally, all ‘reasonably foreseeable’ conditions of use to ensure that appropriate pack warnings and safety features, such as child proof closures, are adopted when needed.
  • When concerns are raised about the safe use of any material, either related to consumer safety or its impact on the environment, we adopt a proactive and cautious approach. Where we believe there are any concerns which have a reasonable scientific basis, we take action to remove, restrict or replace materials ahead of legislation being imposed.

Technical expertise and regulatory affairs

PZ Cussons Technical Teams are responsible for consumer safety and managing compliance to Global regulations. We have experts in each of our regional centres in Europe, Africa and South East Asia who actively work with industry associations and regulatory bodies to ensure we are aware of legislative requirements and we work proactively with them to help shape the industry response to managing future issues. Where necessary, we use specialist expertise, such as Toxicologists and Dermatologists, as part of the product safety assessments and decision-making process.

We closely track the scientific literature, general chemical legislation and consumer safety organisations to guide our materials policy within the Group. In Europe these include ReaCh (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals), the list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) and the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS).

We apply the same standards to consumer safety whether our products are developed and manufactured in our own factories or externally sourced.

Cosmetic product safety and regulation

We have adopted the EU Cosmetics Directive as the PZ Cussons Group standard for cosmetic products. This represents the highest safety standard and requires a detailed Cosmetic Product Safety Report to be done for every product before being placed on the market. All new product development is done to this standard and we are working to bring all existing products to this standard.

Food and nutrition safety and regulation

In our Food and Nutrition business in Greece, Nigeria and Australia we aim to apply high standards of manufacture.

In both Greece and Nigeria we operate to local regulatory standards, in addition to Codex Alimentarius, EU regulation 852/2004 and HACCP principles on the hygiene of foodstuffs are applied. Our Greek factory also has IFS, ISO-9001 and ISO-22000 certification.

The recently acquired Rafferty’s Garden Baby Food brand sources from specialist food producers in Australia who are accredited with the following food safety standards: HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), ISO22000 (ISO standard specifically for the food industry), SQF – Safe Quality Food (encompassing HACCP principles, covers production, transport and distribution).

Managing ‘Materials of Concern’

We have adopted a Group ‘Materials of Concern’ list which formalises our approach to material selection and acts as the vehicle for communication around the Group. We continue to progress our programme of managing materials and, where there are reasonable grounds for concern on consumer safety or environmental impact, we will adopt a cautionary approach and materials may be restricted or prohibited ahead of any legislation being put in place.

In the past year we have initiated action on the following:

Microplastic Beads These are used as exfoliating agents in face and body cleansing products and were reported to be accumulating in the oceans and harming marine life. We are taking action to remove or replace them with natural alternatives.

Triclosan Triclosan is an antibacterial agent which has been under continued scrutiny for several years. We have not used it in our leading antibacterial liquid soap, Carex, and other antibacterial products for many years and have taken the decision to remove it from the few remaining products in which it is used.