The following letter was provided by HABA regarding the quality and safety of their toys. It is reprinted here for your convenience.
August 29, 2007
From the moment our children are conceived we devote ourselves to their safety. Pregnant mothers exercise, visit doctors and eat the right food. That responsibility continues long after our babies are born. We examine the formula they drink, the clothes they wear and the cribs in which they dream. But parents can only scrutinize so much. There comes a point when we must be able to trust that the suppliers we purchase baby products from are as equally dedicated to our children's safety. This includes, to a very large extent, the toys with which our children play.
In the wake of the recent multi-million dollar toy recall of Chinese-made products, American parents are wondering "what can I buy that won't hurt my child?" The answer is family-owned HABA. For over 60 years, this German toy company takes pride in the fact that they would never make a toy that they wouldn't give to their own children or grandchildren. With the exception of wooden puzzles and the architectural master builder block sets, the wooden toys are all produced in HABA's own factories in Bad Rodach, Germany. Water-based, non toxic stains are used to create colors; no lead paints at HABA. Fabric toys and some plastic items are manufactured for HABA by a few select suppliers that have been certified in accordance with the ICTI Code of Business Practices (www.toy-icti.org). As a matter of fact, every HABA toy complies with the EN 71 European Standard for Toy Safety, the ASTM F963 Standard Consumer Safety Specification in the USA, the EU Directive 76/769EEC on azo-dyes and finally the Chemicals Prohibition Ordinance. That means all of their toys, even those that are produced in China, meet safety standards which are, in some cases, even much stricter than those in the United States.
Ever since the Habermaas and Wehrfritz companies were established in 1938, its companies have focused on working for children. Their aim is to support babies' development, make their life more exciting, more cheerful and more delightful. This claim is underpinned by the corporate philosophy, "Top-quality products for children to use and enjoy."
Not only are HABA's toys manufactured with children's safety in mind, they are designed with safety in mind as well. Its quality management has been ISO 9001 certified since 1996. What does that mean? Basically, ISO certification says a company has shown responsibility for the safety of their products in the following ways:
But HABA's social responsibility doesn't end with making sure our children have safe toys. They also accept that the way they make their products must keep the world in which our children play safe. According to HABA, "We assume responsibility for our environment – that is one of the principles of our corporate philosophy. For us, that means minimizing the ecological impact within the bounds of the financially defensible. We are therefore constantly upgrading our production processes and ascertaining, evaluating and minimizing the use of raw materials, emissions and waste volumes on an ongoing basis."
HABA places great demands on the quality and safety of its products, particularly on the careful selection and processing of the materials. Whenever necessary its products are checked by authorized, independent institutes to ensure their safety. And because HABA believes it is a privilege to make toys for children, they understand how awful it would be to take a beloved toy away from a child because it's not safe. That's why they make sure to get it right the first time. HABA products can be found nationwide at over 1,000 U.S. specialty retail stores and in specialty catalogs and websites. Many of its products have been recognized with German and American awards including Parent's Choice, National Parenting Center, Creative Child, Dr. Toy and Parents' Guide. HABA received Best Toys of the Year recognition from the TODAY Show Toy Test and has been featured in national magazines such as Child, American Baby, Baby Talk, Fit Pregnancy, Parenting, Parents and Working Mother.
For more details, visit HABA's informational website at www.habausa.com.