Neal's Yard Remedies on Product & service information

Does your company provide relevant, evidence-based, unambiguous, easily-accessible product and/service information?


We love to talk about our products and ingredients! We also believe that people should know and understand what they are putting on their bodies. For this reason we strive to make out labels as clear and easy to understand as possible.

Neal’s Yard Remedies was the first company to produce Soil Association certified cosmetics. Today over 60% of our product range is certified organic. Unfortunately, organic and natural cosmetics labels are poorly regulated and many companies make organic claims even if their products contain only minute amounts of organic ingredients. To set ourselves apart from companies that we see as ‘organic pretenders’ we created a green box icon – unique amongst organic products – so customers can see at a glance which of our products are 100% organic and which ones are not. If they aren’t 100% organic there’s always a good reason.

We are proud of the fact that we were among the first companies to make use of the internet to provide comprehensive information about our company and its ethos and the many projects it has been involved in as well as what’s in our product ingredients - and what’s not in our products. Our online Ingredients Statement helps customers understand what’s in our products and why and explains some of the ins and outs of terms like 'organic’, ‘natural’, ‘Fairtrade’ and ‘wild’ as well as explaining why some ingredients – such as mined products like salt and minerals as well as water, can never be certified organic. For this reason, products that have water in them – things like shampoo and facial lotions – can never be certified as 100% organic.

We also fund a separate non-commercial website NYR Natural News, which features fully referenced natural health news, research and features, as well as focusing on the campaigning issues that are close to our heart as individuals and as a brand. We see this as a service to our customers as well as to the larger community of people interested in good information about natural health.

With regard to evidence-based claims, unlike many small firms Neal’s Yard Remedies has collaborated with scientists at London’s Kingston University to further study the health and beauty properties of natural ingredients. This work has been published in peer-reviewedJournal of Inflammation and the open access journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Answered at 06:03PM on 20 Sunday Sep 2015

When information regarding price, quality, services and products is not available, it is impossible for customers or clients to make fully considered judgments about the goods and services they purchase. As such, it is generally considered to be a basic responsibility of a business to provide essential information about its products that is easily-accessible, reasonably complete, not confusing and stated in plain and understandable language.

When selling products and services, certain core areas are generally covered by consumer protection law. In the UK this includes safety, pricing, weights and measures, descriptions of products and services, the contract between a buyer and seller, competition between businesses, intellectual property and counterfeiting.

Businesses that are selling services, to individuals or other businesses, have further obligations and some sectors are more tightly regulated than others. For example, under UK law, the main features of the service being offered should be explicit, if not already apparent from the context. Generally, if the price is not pre-determined, a business must be able to supply a detailed estimate so that a client can use the proposed method to calculate the cost, check the figures and arrive at the price. Service providers may need to provide the terms and conditions used, including information on any contract terms that are governed by the law of a particular country ('the English courts have jurisdiction' or 'this contract is governed by Scottish law'). Further, as an after-sales guarantee may not be imposed by law, it is best practice to make clear whether such a guarantee exists or not.

When working within a regulated profession, best practice dictates that details of the associated regulatory regime be clear. Sometimes, professional liability insurance or a guarantee is a legal requirement. When so, information about insurance cover, contact details of the insurer and territorial coverage should be available to the client. Often, the professional body will provide additional complaint and dispute resolution services to help the public make complaints against professional members and this information might also be made available to clients.

However, consumer protection legislation is not exhaustive. For example, the consumer group Which? has campaigned for many years to ensure that health claims made about an increasing number of foods and food supplements are supported by verifiable evidence. This has been an EU regulation since 2006 but the list of verified claims is still to be agreed.

Even when it is not mandatory, therefore, good practice suggests that businesses should make certain that service information and product labelling provides relevant and fair information. Ideally, any claims that are made about a product or service will also be supported by factual evidence and not be based solely on the opinion of the manufacturer or service provider.

Insufficient, inaccurate or misleading information can damage customer confidence, risk legal challenge, introduce health and safety risks and threaten business reputation.

Answering YES

All Businesses MUST

State any philosophy or key values which govern or influence relationships with customers

Explain how they provide product or service information, e.g. product tags, leaflets, menu information, web pages

Describe what is generally included in product labelling and/or service information, e.g. expected costs for services (as opposed to hidden costs in the small print)

Mention any national or international legislation that is applicable concerning product labelling and the provision of service information, including their approach to compliance

All Businesses MAY

State whether any of their product labelling or service information is provided and/or audited by any other organisation(s), and if so which organisation(s)

Describe any relevant training given to staff

Mention any voluntary labelling standards they are signed up to, and if and how performance against them are monitored

Answering NO

All Businesses MUST

Explain why they do not or cannot answer YES to this question and list the business reasons, any mitigating circumstance or any other reasons that apply

All Businesses MAY

List any practices that are relevant, but not sufficient to answer YES

Provide any other relevant information

DON'T KNOW is not a permissible answer to this question

NOT APPLICABLE is not a permissible answer to this question

Version 1

To receive a score of 'Excellent'

Service values core to company ethos

Examples of policy and practice which may support the EXCELLENT statement:

  1. Customer service obviously driving company actions
  2. Statement of philosophy or values or principles for communication/service
  3. Using product or service information to help build long-term relationships with their customers/clients
  4. Provide information far beyond minimum legally required
  5. Provides objective evidence about product/service
  6. Collect customer feedback to improve service information
  7. Use third party audit/review to ensure quality/clarity of information provided
  8. Cited as example of good practice by other organisations
To receive a score of 'Good'

Good information essential to delivering business product/service

Examples of policy and practice which may support the GOOD statement:

  1. Statement of philosophy or values or principles for delivering information
  2. Apparent that customer service values are driving company actions
  3. Provide information beyond minimum legally required in various formats
  4. Provides objective evidence about product/service
  5. Collect customer feedback to improve service information
To receive a score of 'Okay'

Customer service information at legal minimum

Examples of policy and practice which may support the OKAY statement:

  1. Provide minimum information (as legally required)
  2. Use more than one way to inform customers of products or services for easy access
To receive a score of 'Poor'

The business acknowledges performance below expectations or unsubstantiated claims made

Examples of policy and practice which may support the POOR statement:

  1. Statement of future intent to improve
  2. Limited information apparent
  3. Unsubstantiated claims made

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