Evolution of the European Flax™ standard

21 September 2023

  • Linen
  • Certification

The Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp, committed to continuous improvement, is updating the European Flax™ certification and its tools so as to meet the expectations of certified companies, brands and consumers ever more effectively.

The context for the evolution of our European Flax™ standard

European Flax™ today: 934 companies certified in 35 countries by July 5th, 2023

  • A certification of origin recognised by the industry and brands, based on an audited standard, available in open source
  • A B2B tool within the flax-linen value chains and a B2C tool for brands and consumers

European Flax™ guarantee of traceability for premium quality flax fibres grown in Western Europe for all end uses. A plant fibre, produced through farming that is respectful of the environment, without irrigation* or GMOs.
*except in exceptional circumstances.

European Flax™ is intended to be a robust certification, in line with the markets. That is why we are committed to updating and reviewing our standard and its tools at least every 5 years. The aim being to meet the expectations of certified companies, brands and consumers.
European Flax ™ continues to gain in expertise with the latest version 3.0 of its standard available since 18 July 2023
Effective date of 3.0 Standard: February 17th, 2024

This video is also available with subtitles in:

Versions released since 2014:

    • V1.0 December 2014
    • V2.0 July 2019
    • V3.0 July 2023

In tandem with the update of the standard, we are also providing technical support tools for certified companies and for brands wishing to certify their value chains. These documents are also made available on our website:

    • New versions of the Certification Process & Checklist, to prepare for your audit
    • New diagrams, for a better understanding of the certification process and the European Flax™ Value Chain
    • Dedicated pages on our certifications, including FAQ and Technical Documents tabs to find all the key documents relating to certification.
    • A clearer, more user-friendly directory of certified companies with more information.

Main changes to European Flax™ standard: V3.0 versus V2.0

A more streamlined and clearer document

The criteria relating to the Standard are defined in greater detail, and the certification processes are outlined in the Certification Process. The 2 documents are complementary and should be used as such.

Reengeineering of the different sections and new sections

For greater clarity and readability, and for greater ease in identifying the applicable criteria for each type of company.

Creation of a number of annexes

  • Definitions, to specify all the terms and activities cited in the standard
  • Infographics of the European Flax™ Value Chain, illustrating the links in the value chains concerned by certification + the documents for each tier: updated
  • “How to become European Flax™ certified’’ infographics in 2 steps
  • Listing of Accredited Laboratories performing composition tests according to ISO #20706-1, dec.2019 norm approved by the Bast Fiber Observatory (applicable to converters with risk of fibre blending).

Addition of the following sections

“Objectives and applicability’’ section, including:

  • ‘‘Scope and applicability’’ – defines who/what is to be certified at the 3 different scales of certification: value chain, company, product
  • ‘‘Labelling’’ – defines the basic rules for using the European Flax™ logo (who, for which products)

‘‘Subcontractor’’ section is very detailed, including:

  • How to manage subcontractors
  • What are the prerequisites/criteria for subcontractors?
  • Criteria for auditing subcontractors
  • Criteria for Inclusion and Removal of subcontractors from subcontractors’ list

‘‘Multi-site’’ section, including:

  • Eligibility
  • What are the specific criteria for multi-sites (general + site-specific)?
  • Requirements for adding/removing sites in a multi-site certificate

‘‘Product composition’’ section in great detail, including:

  • Composition requirements for ‘‘simple products’’
  • New section on multi-part products: composition requirements for multi-parts products

Implementation timeframe for audits and certificates from V2.0 to V3.0

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