FURMARK is the global program overseeing fur trade traceability and certification. It is in place to ensure the highest welfare and environmental standards. It is an assurance that the fur industry is striving to further improve the sustainability of the sector. For consumers, it is the guarantee of good animal welfare and the origin of the fur product they are purchasing.

FURMARK will operate across the supply chain and cover different regions and sectors. By 2020, the FURMARK program will include seven different certification programs; WelFur, Saga Certification, North American Welfare, Wild Fur Programs, Swakara, Sable and Dressers & Dyers:

  • WelFur is a science-based animal welfare assessment program designed to certify farms for mink, fox, and Finnraccoon (Asiatic raccoon) in Europe. It aims to ensure that best practices are applied to animal welfare in the fur supply chain.
  • Saga Certification by Finnish Standards includes criteria for advanced animal health and welfare; conditions for rearing animals; farm hygiene; breeding; environmental management; feed management, and for training and preparing for exceptional situations.
  • For North American farm-raised fur, the US and Canada run separate programs to support quality welfare practices and animal husbandry through responsible and sustainable business practices. These programs utilize the internationally recognized OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) Welfare Standards to make sure that farm-raised species meets the highest possible standards.
  • Wild Fur programs are subject to a comprehensive system of laws, regulations, checks, and controls. Each of these factors vary depending on geographical provenance and animal species. The programs prioritize the sustainability and welfare of all fur-bearing species and ensure that population and environmental sustainability are key to wild fur harvesting.
  • Swakara is the name of a specific breed of karakul (high-quality lambskin) from South West Africa. A program has been developed for swakara producers incorporating codes of practice and standards for production and marketing. Auditing and compliance are a key part of this process.
  • In Russia, a detailed program has been developed for farm-raised sable in cooperation with the Moscow State Veterinary Academy. Wild sable is regulated under the Ministry of Natural Resources and strict rules and regulations apply to harvesting, animal welfare, sustainability and traceability.
  • FURMARK certified dressers and dyers are committed to using chemicals from an agreed list, satisfying laboratory verification requirements and government oversight on factories environmental footprint.
FURMARK has three key principles: Science, Independent Inspection and Transparency.
  1. Certification programs and their individual protocols are all based on science and will be approved by independent experts.
  2. Verifications will be conducted by third parties and publicly available.
  3. The certification programs must meet recognized national regulations and ISEAL’s (International Social & Environmental Standards Accreditation & Labelling Alliance) credibility principles including truthfulness, transparency, sustainability, relevance, accessibility, efficiency, engagement, impartiality, improvement, and rigor.

Our Supply Chain

This is a general overview of the natural fur supply chain. This brochure will guide you through each stage highlighting the various programs in place and their relationship with the FURMARK program.

By 2020, the furmark program will include:

All of the global industry’s quality assurance standards are part of FURMARK. Being certified by FURMARK means the regional programs have satisfied FURMARK’s global standards. FURMARK is an evolving program, and we are committed to inviting more regional markets and fur business sectors to join the initiative to make the industry more responsible and sustainable. For example, in China work is underway to develop sciencebased grounded rules for keeping and breeding farmed fur-bearing animals.

Under the FURMARK program, all stages of the supply chain are subject to comprehensive, transparent and independently verified traceability systems. Dressers and dyers are also part of FURMARK. Therefore, they are subject to independent testing and certification. Discussions are underway with auction houses and manufacturers to ensure the robust application and complete transparency of the FURMARK program. With the introduction of FURMARK, auction houses for farmed and wild fur will sell certified skins from 2020. Ultimately, FURMARK enables retailers, brands, and consumers to have complete assurance and confidence when buying natural fur.

Governance

FURMARK has been developed by the International Fur Federation (IFF) working with a roundtable of luxury brands that use natural fur. The program is governed by the board of the IFF that consists of representatives of the fur value chain. The board will decide which certification programs are eligible to join FURMARK. A steering group will oversee the running of FURMARK and the process of ensuring each certification program meets its responsibilities.