Policy for a Moratorium on Farm Area Certification in the Responsible Down Standard, V1.0

Issuing time:2024-02-29 13:20

As part of the pilot and transitional process of unified standards, Textile Exchange (hereinafter referred to as TE) plans to explore a new certification mode. FromMarch 1st, 2024, the certification organization that currently holds or previously held the farm area certification in the past year (2023) can renew the certification of the farm area. However, no new farm areas shall be added.

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About RDS

The responsible down standard (RDS) was first introduced in 2014 as an international voluntary standard to protect duck down and feathers from unnecessary harm caused by the supply chain. RDS aims to stimulate animal welfare best practices and promote continuous improvement throughout the supply chain. As a third-party certification body recognized by TE, ASCP conducts annual audit on each stage of the supply chain. In addition, according to the requirements of CCS, the transaction certificate TC is used to track the materials from the farm to the final product.

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Why suspend farm area certification

01. Challenges faced by RDS standards

In the process of te's standard review, some challenges were encountered in implementing RDS standards on site, especially in terms of farm area certification module and small slaughterhouse requirements.

Te has launched these certification programs to expand the application scope of sustainability standards to small farmers in the same geographical area, facilitate their access, and put them on the right track in the process of achieving positive results in promoting animal welfare. However, during the implementation process, some problems were found to need to be solved, especially in the implementation of improved supervision and support mechanisms for these farmers and slaughterhouses.

02. TE plans to implement unified standards

TE is currently updating and strengthening its standards system to establish a more comprehensive and results oriented framework:

The current responsible animal fiber standard RAF (including RWS, RMS, RAS, for wool, mohair and alpaca wool), responsible down standard (RDS) and global recycled standard (GRS) are merged into a single overall standard; Plus cotton organic content standard (OCs) and content claim standard (CCS).

The uniform standards to be issued will take effect in 2025 and will be enforced in 2026.

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In order to cope with the changing situation and the demand for more effective certification modes, these challenges are being specifically addressed in the short term as described in this suspension policy, and are being combined with te's preparations for the introduction of unified standards. The adjustment of the certification requirements and relevant standards drafted in the unified standard will be part of the pilot test in 2024, and down and feather will be the key focus of the verification change.

Te recognized the necessity of adaptability and decided to suspend the implementationof responsible low standard farm regional certification. This measure is a strategic approach to solve the problems found in RDS and promote a smooth transition to a unified standard.

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