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About Vegetarian Approval and Vegan Certification

The Vegetarian Society Approved and Vegan Certified trademarks help you to easily identify vegetarian and vegan products.

For a list of Vegetarian Society Approved or Vegan Certified products, click on one of the trademarks below.

Are you in business?

For more information about these programmes and what it takes to qualify for our trademarks, download our information booklet. It offers and overview of the application process and fees.

For more information, or to apply, email trademark@vegetarian.org.nz

Criteria

The criteria for each of these programmes are listed below.

Vegetarian Society Approved Criteria

1. Free from any ingredient resulting from slaughter

The Vegetarian Society Approved trademark cannot be displayed on any product that contains, consists of, or has been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal.

This includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

  • Animal flesh or body parts (e.g. meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, insects)
  • Meat, fish or bone stock/stock cubes
  • Animal carcass fats (including suet, lard or dripping)
  • Gelatine, aspic, gelatine-based block or jelly crystals
  • Isinglass
  • Animal rennet
  • Royal Jelly
  • Any other by-product of slaughter
  • Any food or ingredient made with processing aids created from any of the above

The NZ Vegetarian Society is happy to give further advice on products or ingredients and to work with companies to find suitable alternatives.

2. Only free-range eggs are used

The NZ Vegetarian Society will not certify products that contain battery eggs or eggs produced using any other intensive system of production. The NZ Vegetarian Society can certify products that use free-range eggs which are produced in accordance with the EU criteria for free-range egg farming.

3. No cross-contamination during production

In order to be eligible for the Vegetarian Society Approved trademark, cross-contamination must not occur between the vegetarian product in question and non-vegetarian products/ingredients during production. If the same production line is shared with non- vegetarian products/ingredients, thorough cleaning must be carried out before vegetarian production commences. This extends to all associated machinery, equipment, utensils, surfaces and clothing, which must remain free from non-vegetarian products/ingredients before vegetarian products are touched, prepared, produced or packaged. Clear procedures must be in place to ensure correct packaging is used and errors do not occur.

4. GMO-free

Genetically modified ingredients or products containing genetically modified ingredients are not eligible to be licensed to carry the Vegetarian Society Approved trademark. (An exception is made for ingredients that contain genetically modified material at levels of less than 1% of that ingredient.) Vegetarian rennet used in cheese-making is acceptable.

5. No animal testing carried out or commissioned

Cosmetic and household products

All cosmetic and household products (and their ingredients) must not be tested on animals. This includes experiments conducted or commissioned by the manufacturing company or by any other company on its behalf or on behalf of its suppliers. Each company licensed to carry the Vegetarian Society Approved trademark must also inform the NZ Vegetarian Society of any animal testing cut-off date it may have.

Food products

The NZ Vegetarian Society will not certify any new food product for which the producing company has carried out or commissioned animal testing, either for the finished product or any ingredient, unless such testing was a proven and unavoidable legal requirement.

Vegan Certified Criteria

1. Free from animal-derived ingredients

The NZ Vegetarian Society Vegan Certified trademark cannot be displayed on any product that contains, consists of, or has been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of a living or dead animal, or any substance that has originated from an animal.

This includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

  • Animal flesh or body parts (e.g. meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, insects) including any by-products
  • Meat, fish or bone stock / stock cubes
  • Animal carcass fats (including suet, lard or dripping)
  • Gelatine, aspic, gelatine-based block or jelly crystals
  • Isinglass
  • Animal rennet
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Honey, beeswax, royal jelly, bee venom, propolis
  • Shellac, cochineal
  • Lanolin (from wool)
  • Feathers
  • Any product or ingredient made with processing aids created from any of the above

The NZ Vegetarian Society is happy to give further advice on products or ingredients and to work with companies to find suitable alternatives.

2. No cross-contamination during production

In order to be eligible for the Vegan Certified trademark, cross-contamination must not occur between the vegan product and non-vegan products/ingredients during production. If the same production line is shared with non-vegan products/ingredients, thorough cleaning must be carried out before vegan production commences. This extends to all associated machinery, equipment, utensils, surfaces and clothing, which must remain free from non- vegan products/ingredients before vegan products are touched, prepared, produced or packaged. Clear procedures must be in place to ensure correct packaging is used and errors do not occur.

3. GMO-free

Genetically modified ingredients or products containing genetically modified ingredients are not eligible to be licensed to carry the Vegan Certified trademark. (An exception is made for ingredients that contain genetically modified material at levels of less than 1% of that ingredient.)

4. No animal testing carried out or commissioned

Cosmetic and household products

All cosmetic and household products (and their ingredients) must not be tested on animals. This includes experiments conducted or commissioned by the manufacturing company or by any other company on its behalf or on behalf of its suppliers. Each company licensed to carry the Vegan Certified trademark must also inform the NZ Vegetarian Society of any animal testing cut-off date it may have.

Food products

The NZ Vegetarian Society will not certify any new food product for which the producing company has carried out or commissioned animal testing, either for the finished product or any ingredient, unless such testing was a proven and unavoidable legal requirement.