In a New Zealand first, a Vegan Certification scheme has been launched by the New Zealand Vegetarian Society.
The easily recognised and highly credible Vegan Certified symbol will be helpful to vegans and vegetarians, people who are dairy-free and for the many people who are looking to cut back on animal products.
The NZ Vegetarian Society, who is running the programme in collaboration with the Vegan Society of Aotearoa New Zealand, is confident the scheme is going to be in huge demand and of interest to both businesses and consumers.
“The current groundswell of interest in veganism and the ever-increasing demand for vegan food and products made this a good time to launch such a programme. The new certification symbol will make simple work of finding suitable products at a time when ingredients are still very complicated and sometimes incomprehensible,” says Julia Clements, NZ Vegetarian Society President.
The certification scheme is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and has taken two years to develop. A stringent and independent audit of every ingredient in a product takes place for each applicant.
“Animal-based items such as cochineal, rennet, gelatine, bone char, chicken feathers, human hair and other oddities are often not easy to detect on product labels, but are present in a surprising number of food and ingredients, so certification is important to know what you’re really buying,” says Stephanie Lane, Certification Manager of the NZ Vegetarian Society.
The NZ Vegetarian Society has been administering the UK Vegetarian Society owned ‘Vegetarian Society Approved’ programme in New Zealand for many years, and will continue to run it alongside their new Vegan Certification NZVS programme.
“There are a dozen or so companies with products already certified, and many applicants waiting, even before public announcement of the scheme. The amount of interest in the Vegan Certification has been extraordinary prior to launching it. Though perhaps it’s not surprising given veganism is currently growing at an unprecedented rate,” says Stephanie Lane.
“It’s another positive step forward for the growing group of New Zealanders who want to protect animal rights, the environment and their own health by reducing their use of animal-based products. It’s also great news for businesses wanting to attract this ever-growing consumer base, and wanting to show their products really are 100% vegan.”
The first New Zealand restaurant to be certified is Hectors restaurant at Heritage Auckland. “We are delighted Hectors restaurant has been Vegan Certified by the NZ Vegetarian Society. We know how thorough their process is, so it’s a huge honour to have been recognised in this way,” says Gerrard O’Keefe, Executive Chef, Heritage Auckland.
Amanda Sorrenson, National Coordinator of the Vegan Society of Aotearoa New Zealand, says, “We are very excited to be collaborating with the NZ Vegetarian Society on this first of a kind certification scheme for vegan products available in NZ. It’s great to be working with businesses too, to help increase vegan options and grow veganism in New Zealand.”
Got a question?
If you have a question about what Whole Food Eating is all about then you need to check out our FAQ section.