Vegan product labelling

Vegan Australia often receives enquiries from Australian businesses who want their products to be "certified" or "approved" as vegan.

At the moment we do not operate a vegan certification scheme in Australia, but here are a few suggestions to make it easier for vegans to recognise these products as vegan.

  1. Make sure the product does not contain any animal products and also that no animals or animal products were used in the manufacturing process, including for testing of ingredients.
  2. Make sure the ingredient list is unambiguously vegan. Some common ingredients can be from either animal or plant sources, so the source of these ingredients should be specified. The source of food additive numbers in the ingredient list should also be identified, as some of these can be from either animal or plant sources.
  3. Ensure the word "vegan" is prominently displayed on the packaging. Fair trading laws and food laws in Australia prohibit false, misleading or deceptive representations and so manufacturers risk prosecution if they falsely label a product.  Therefore the word "vegan" can generally be trusted on food labels. Also, manufacturers sometimes change their ingredients and so vegans need to recheck the ingredients list, even on familiar products. Displaying with word "vegan" makes it easier for these consumers.
  4. When preparing vegan products in areas such as shared commercial kitchens, all reasonable and practical steps should be taken to avoid the risk of cross-contamination from non-vegan products, such as thoroughly washing surfaces and utensils before use.  Appropriate allergy warnings should be printed on the label.
  5. Businesses can apply to the UK Vegan Society for use of their trademark symbol which can then by used on approved products. The trademark is the well known sunflower symbol shown above and is recognised as an assurance that the product is vegan. This scheme is international in scope and covers Australia.
  6. There is another vegan certification scheme organised by the US Vegan Action organisation. Full details can be found on their "Get certified" tab.
  7. For skin care products, cosmetics, etc, manufacturers can apply to use the "Not Tested On Animals" logo from Choose Cruelty Free. Note that some Choose Cruelty Free certified items contain animal products.

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