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NZVS Approved Programme

NZVS Approved Programme

Do you know how your food is produced? Do you know what all the e-numbers mean? If not, how can you be sure the product you choose is vegetarian?

The NZVS Product Approved Programme

  • Makes vegetarianism easier – by making it simple to select suitable products. No more reading labels and interpreting ingredients!
  • Sets the standards for vegetarian food and products in NZ.
  • Contributes to raising health and environmental standards in NZ and reducing cruelty to animals.

What does it mean?

When you see the NZVS Approved trademark, you can be sure the product is completely suitable for vegetarians. Products carrying this logo meet all of the following strict criteria:

  • Free from ingredients from animal slaughter, including animal flesh (meat, fowl, fish or shellfish), meat or bone stock, animal carcass fats, gelatine and cochineal.
  • Free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The NZVS believes it is impossible to guarantee that such products are completely in accordance with the Society’s vegetarian principles. Vegetarian “rennet” used in cheese making is exempt.
  • Free from eggs produced under intensive farming systems (eg battery farms). Free range eggs produced in accordance with the European Union criteria for free range egg farming can be approved. We believe that hens are more able to behave naturally, remain healthy and enjoy a better quality of life under free range conditions.
  • Not tested on animals. Any product or product containing ingredients that have been tested on animals since 1986 cannot be approved.
  • Not cross-contaminated with non-vegetarian products during production or preparation.

Approval criteria

We’re strict with our approval process, as the Approval Programme will be effective only as long as it absolutely upholds the vegetarian standards upon which it is founded.

To be NZVS Approved, a product or restaurant dish must be:

  • Free from ingredients resulting from animal slaughter
  • Free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • Free from eggs produced under intensive farming systems
  • Not tested on animals
  • Free from cross-contamination from non-vegetarian products

The NZVS Approved trademark cannot be used on products containing the following:

  • Animal flesh (meat, fowl, fish or shellfish).
  • Meat, fish or bone stock (in soups, sauces or other dishes).
  • Animal body fats (eg white cooking fat, suet, lard, dripping) or margarine containing fish oil or ingredients derived from slaughterhouse by-products. These fats are often used in pastry and for frying, greasing tins or in other cooking.
  • Gelatine, aspic, gelatine-based block or jelly crystals for glazing, moulding or other cooking. Agar-Agar is a good alternative.
  • Cheese or whey made with animal rennet.
  • Intensively produced eggs (eg Battery eggs).
  • Ingredients that have been tested on animals since 1986.
  • Ingredients which have been genetically modified.
  • Any other ingredients derived from slaughterhouse products.


Cross-contamination between vegetarian and non-vegetarian products during production must be avoided.

  • If the same production line is used for vegetarian and non-vegetarian products, thorough cleaning must be carried out before production of the vegetarian product commences. This includes all associated machinery, equipment, utensils, surfaces, gloves, etc which must be free from any non-vegetarian material before vegetarian products are touched, prepared, produced or packaged.
  • Oils used for frying non-vegetarian food must not be used to cook NZVS Approved food.
  • Procedures must be established to ensure cross-contamination, packaging mix-ups and errors cannot occur.

For a list of NZVS Approved Products click here.

For more info about the NZVS Approved Programme, please email