Coming together against the pandemic
Consumers International (CI) has developed a resource page for consumer advocates, showing international initiatives and national campaigns to fight against COVID-19.
Celebrating 60 years of consumer rights
CI will celebrate its 60th anniversary of the global consumer advocacy movement with outreach activities to address its membership and wider audience, on 17 November 2020. This will be an opportuinty to engage consumers in shaping the future of trade and ensuring a fair, safe and sustainable marketplace for all. Follow CI's news for updates.
Value for money with unit pricing
With consumers worldwide suffering from the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer advocacy has a vital role to play in guiding, advising and informing consumers to ensure they can access a fair and affordable market for essential products and services.
In his recent commentary, Ian Jarrett, CI expert who worked on ISO 21041:2018 Guidance on unit pricing, outlines why consumers can save significant amounts of money when retailers provide the unit price of pre-packaged products, and argues that consumer organizations everywhere should be advocating for retailers to provide consumers with effective unit pricing, especially for pre-packaged food and grocery items.
European standards meeting the challenge
In its Annual Review, ANEC mentions how its strategic considerations to 2030 will require it to reflect on its priorities in the wake of a global health challenge. ANEC President Dermott Jewell emphasizes that European standards can and should bring benefits to both business and the consumer and provide for trust in products and services.
European standard on face coverings
The European standards body CEN published Workshop Agreement CWA 17553 Community face coverings - Guide to minimum requirements, methods of testing & use on 17 June. The CWA was drafted in just over three weeks, following an EC invitation to CEN. It provides the minimum requirements for the design, production and performance assessment of community face coverings (barrier masks) intended for consumers, single-use or reusable. The CWA is available free of charge.
Patient-centred care and social alarms
ANEC participated in the EN 17398, Patient involvement in health care – Minimum requirements for person-centred care’ which was published in June under CEN/TC 450 Patient involvement in person-centred care.
The Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI) is now developing 27 national standards in response to the "new normal” related to COVID-19 outbreaks. The list of these standards was approved by the Industrial Product Standards Council governing TISI, including medical devices, personal protective equipment, cloth masks, face shields, goggles for medical use, surgical gowns, negative pressure cabinets, respirators, UVC sterilizers, infrared thermometers, medical head covers, leg covers and hand sanitizers.
These standards will ensure health and safety protection and reduce the risk of coronavirus infection. They will encourage manufacturers making such products to comply with standards.
Nowadays, new products for the “new normal" life come out daily. TISI, as a National Standards Body, intends to expedite standards development and certification processes to cope with new products which may otherwise adversely impact consumer safety, and to ensure that products used by consumers comply with standards and are safe.
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set a road map for 17 areas that provide a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. The SDGs are closely followed by international and regional standards organizations, and standards are being prepared in accordance with these goals. TSE has placed priority on consumers acting in accordance with these goals and working with standards organizations to contribute to global targets.
In line with SDG 6, Clean water and sanitation, consumers are encouraged to be conscious of water consumption and contribute to protecting the water eco-system. In relation to that, handwashing is one of the most effective actions to take against the spread of pathogens and to prevent infections, including by the COVID-19 virus.
According to SDG 12, Responsible consumption and production, sustainable development depends on reviewing our consumption patterns and reducing our ecological footprint. Consumers need to reduce food waste and support standards organizations on food safety issues.
SDG 14, Life below water, aims to manage marine and coastal eco-systems in a sustainable manner. Within this scope, consumers need to take action to protect seas and underwater life from pollution. Likewise, SDG 15, Life on land, aims to protect natural habitats and reduce biodiversity loss. In order to achieve these goals, each individual needs to take reponsibility for their actions.
BSI has just appointed Julie Hunter as Chair of its Consumer and Public Interest Network (CPIN). Julie has been a member of CPIN since 2009 and has represented consumers on a wide range of standards, including consumer vulnerability and online reviews. She is co-convenor of ISO/COPOLCO WG 18 on consumers' issues in services standardization and chaired ANEC’s Services Working Group from 2012-2018.
According to Julie, “As CPIN Chair, my ambition is to maximize our positive impact on consumers’ lives. By focusing on issues which pose the greatest risk of harm, CPIN can make life safer, better and fairer for everyone, including those who may be vulnerable.”
BSI has also recently revamped its web pages to help explain better the role of the consumer stakeholder, the BSI Consumer Forum and CPIN. The resources page provides a full suite of consumer leaflets which lay out CPIN’s priorities in the development of British Standards, as well as consumer friendly information on a range of published standards.