Global Traceable Down Standard

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work with NSF?
  • Certification Process

NSF Sustainability can certify all elements of the down supply chain to the new Global Traceable Down Standard (Global TDS). The standard ensures that down in garments and other household and commercial products comes from a responsible source that respects animal welfare and can be transparently traced. Down is a byproduct of the food industry. In this down supply chain, birds may be force fed for foie gras production or even live plucked to get more than one harvest of down from a single bird. The Global TDS goes beyond current industry practice to include the parent farm in the auditing while other programs start at the hatchery. Because parent farm animals live longer, they are at greater risk for live plucking. Animal welfare is evaluated by visually inspecting animals and verifying handling practices with veterinarians and others directly in contact with the animals.

Traceability: The Global TDS also involves a chain of custody component that verifies that traceability systems are in place throughout the entire supply chain. Full traceability provides assurance that conventional down has not been mixed with certified down. Certification is provided not only at the product level but as a whole to the full supply chain feeding into the product line.

Find out more about certification by calling +1 734.769.5192 or emailing sustainability@nsf.org. Download the Global Traceable Down Standard.

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Benefits of Certification

Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable and demanding greater care of animals involved in our food systems. Certification to the Global Traceable Down Standard (Global TDS) can help your organization prove commitment to expanded animal welfare. A third-party audit and compliance program as outlined by this standard can help mitigate risk and expand market acceptance of your products. No program goes as far to assure animal welfare, and also provide a manageable process and system for certification.

If your organization is part of the down supply chain, certification can help you prove your commitment to animal welfare and down traceability. At the retail level, certification informs and ensures customers that the products they purchase are made only from responsible sources of down that respect animal welfare. Research shows that informed consumers want to buy from responsible retailers.

Why Work with NSF?

With nearly 70 years of experience auditing and certifying processes and products for safety, health and the environment, NSF International and its NSF Sustainability and NSF Agriculture divisions are dedicated to helping organizations and industries develop more sustainable products and operations. In the agriculture sector, we work with farmers and growers around the globe, issuing more than 70,000 certificates per year.

At NSF we believe auditing should be straightforward, convenient and produce results you can trust. When you choose us, you can expect consistent, personalized service to guide you through the process. For the farm segment of the down supply chain, we have the expertise to audit and understand your process as well as provide other services relevant to your operations such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and other audit, animal welfare, training and sustainability services. NSF has skilled auditors in over 77 countries so your auditors are local to your countries of operation, which saves time and money. For the broker through retailer segment of the supply chain, we help you mitigate risk through our comprehensive audit practice. NSF is your trusted partner in auditing, product testing and supply chain compliance.

Certification Process

NSF has helped thousands of manufacturers obtain both local and international market access by evaluating products to meet the requirements of multiple product standards. We certify products to the Global Traceable Down Standard using a simple six-step process.

  1. Your company completes the application process (which includes listing locations of all entities and manufacturing facilities in the supply chain) and submits signed documents to NSF.
  2. With our guidance, your company submits pre-audit documentation for review.
  3. We conduct a review of the pre-audit documentation and schedule the on-site audits.
  4. We conduct an on-site audit of the entities included in the supply chain from parent farm to final processing or the finished good manufacturing facilities.
  5. Once all follow-up is complete, we grant certification and list your certified products on the NSF website.
  6. We schedule annual surveillance audits and notify you of recertification.

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