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In the Supermarket


The history of Green Tick® Certification starts in Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand in 1998, where Mrs Susan Harris, a sustainability scientist, came up with the idea for Green Tick® while shopping for dinner ingredients in the local supermarket one evening.  Nothing was certified sustainable, and she saw the need for a simple, easily recognised ecolabel on the front of the package, backed by an independent scientific audit.....seemed simple enough....but was five years in the making. 

Now, 24 years later....the journey continues....


1. Five-Year Research Project

The original shopping list that sparked the idea for Green Tick®.  A trip to the local supermarket on the way home from work in 1998 led to a five year research project backed by family and business associates.

Image by Erin Doering

4. Acceptance at Harvard

Other colleagues at Harvard University recognised Green Tick® Certification as a world-leading innovation, and it became part of their "notable innovation" programme in 2006.


2. Australasian Market Trials

Australasian market trials took place in 2004 in two countries and two markets.  Damara Lamb was certified Green Tick® Natural in Queensland as a joint project with scientists from the Department of Primary Industries.  The certified lamb sold out weeks before it was ready for market.  Then, an 18-month nationwide supermarket trial with a cleaning products supplier in New Zealand yielded sales increases of seven certified products up to +233%, averaging +52%.


5. Formal Papers

Formal scientific and marketing papers in the Green Tick® Certification Scheme and market responses to it were published by Emerald Insight in 2007.  Links here:  Green Tick® System and Does Sustainability Sell?

Image by Abi Hinchley

3. Presentation of Prototype at European and International Sustainability Conferences

Through science colleagues in the European Commission, Susan was invited to present the prototype of Green Tick® Certification to the European Roundtable of Sustainable Production and Consumption Conference in Antwerp, Belgium in 2005, and to the International Sustainability Conference in Basel, Switzerland, also in 2005.


6. Global Launch

The Global Launch of Green Tick® Certification followed, with certified products sold in Australasia, Asia and the USA.  The Green Tick® ecolabel remains unblemished after 24 years' operation, fulfilling our vision to provide the world with a science-based, obvious, and always authentic green ecolabel.

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