European Network for a Plant-Based Diet

PlantEurope member meeting on vegan and vegetarian labels

Exchange between V-Label representatives from Sweden and the Netherlands as well as Biocyclic Vegan International gave insights into vegan label certification and practice challenges

The eighth PlantEurope member’s meeting focused on vegan and vegetarian labels. The participants were able to exchange with each other and have their questions answered by V-Label representatives (Michel Bracke from A Better Future AB - Sweden and Erwin Polderman from Vegetariërsbond - Netherlands) and Axel Anders from Biocyclic Vegan International.

To give a short  overview of the labels available in Europe the meeting was kicked off with a presentation

Afterward participants spoke about a variety of topics. We have collected some of their most interesting talking points here:

  • Axel Anders emphasised that his organisation Biocyclic Vegan International established a label that is only given to vegan and organic products, which were grown on farms that do not keep any livestock and do not use animal inputs of any kind like manure, dung, slurry or slaughterhouse by-products as fertiliser. This is a novel idea among vegan products, as vegan labelling certification usually only indicates that the products do not contain any ingredients of animal origin whereas the farming practices are not taken into consideration. The biocyclic vegan label thus certifies that the product is not only organic but also vegan from the field.
  • Michel Brackè highlighted the need for rigorous labelling by showcasing the results of a recent study from Sweden in which products that had a generic vegan label were tested and traces of animal products were found in 70% of them. He went on to say that this is likely due to cross contamination in factories, which is something that the V-label certification process takes very seriously. 
  • Michael Klein from Sattva Vegan spoke about his efforts to get a vegan certification for his restaurant in Austria. All speakers on labels confirmed that Sattva Vegan being an all vegan restaurant will make the process considerably easier compared to restaurants that serve vegan dishes as well as dishes containing meat.
  • Michel Brackè gave some insights about the new vegetarian version of the v-label. The new look is meant to make it easier for customers to distinguish between the vegan and vegetarian versions of the v-label. Products with the old vegetarian label are slowly being replaced in the retail sector. 

Don’t miss out on future PlantEurope members meetings: Sign up to become a member free of charge here and join the PlantEurope community to keep up to date on all events. 

The PlantEurope team would like to say thank you to all guest speakers and the participants for joining and engaging.