Vegan Certification FAQs

News features

What is BeVeg? Vegan Certification FAQs

BeVeg, as a law firm, exists to raise the standard for consumer transparency. BeVeg requires companies that apply to disclose all ingredients, processes and trade secrets and be subject to audits and lab tests. In case you didn’t know, veganism in general, even the word, is not currently carved out in the law. Right now, anyone can claim vegan, but the question is, by what standard? The word “vegan” is not regulated by any law. Attorneys by nature are regulators! BeVeg has defined a global vegan standard to keep vegan claims honest and hold vegan claims legally accountable. The law-firm-issued BeVeg vegan symbol has global trademark protection, and is now represented on every continent, except Antarctica.

What is Vegan Certification and why is it important?

Vegan is not legally defined in any one jurisdiction in the world, and right now vegan claims lack credibility without certification. There have been cases when a brand has claimed their product was vegan but upon inspection, one realizes that the product may contain non-vegan source ingredients, or be subject to spillover cross-contamination, and because there is no law requiring a single vegan standard, that product legally can continue to market themselves as vegan because the question comes back down to, vegan by what standard? Can a product legally be marketed vegan without looking into the source ingredients to ensure integrity in the vegan claim? Legally. Yes. Can a product using a sugar with bone char or natural coloring made of insect juice still call themselves vegan? Legally. Yes. Can Burger King’s Rebel Whopper Burger market as vegan friendly even though it is cooked with burgers on the same grill, as the same time? Legally. Yes. All over the world labeling laws with regards to vegan claims are undefined and legally insufficient, which leads to false advertising. For example, in the United States, you are not required to label “insignificant ingredients” which means anything under 0.5% per serving does not have to be disclosed. This could lead to non-vegan ingredients such as whey powder appearing in products with no need to mention. Or this could mean that if less than .5 grams per serving of sugar with bone char is used, that product can claim it is sugar-free and vegan! Internationally recognized vegan certification gives the consumer peace of mind. As it is, consumers are sick of reading tiny ingredients, and educated consumers know those ingredients lack transparency. A proper vegan certification logo like BeVeg gives the consumer the confidence needed to purchase and consume that product without worry. When a consumer sees a known global vegan trademark that consumer can rest assured the research was done for them and they don’t have to read and study tiny ingredients. They can trust the vegan symbol. It’s no different than needing FDA approval for food and drug safety or gluten-free certification to avoid a gluten allergy reaction. Vegan certification isn’t necessary if you want a product that’s truly vegan.

What kind of Vegan certifications do we have?

BeVeg has 2 global trademarks. We certify vegan food, beverages, alcohol, vitamins, supplements, makeup, textiles, fashion, furniture, household cleaning supplies, artwork, and any other product that could otherwise have a compromised vegan integrity.

What are the types of "Vegan certifications" that already exist?

There are other claims you may see on packaging like: Vegan FriendlySuitable for VegansNo Animal IngredientsVegan ApprovedPlant-basedCruelty-Free and the like. While these claims are important for marketing and sales, these claims are not all equal and mean different things. For example, plant-based does not mean vegan. It means it’s mostly plant-based. Vegan friendly is a wishy washy way of saying we think we are vegan. Cruelty free does not mean it is vegan, as that phrase usually addresses animal testing rather than ingredients and processes. In fact, vegan as a word on packaging doesn’t mean anything unless it is certified vegan by a global trademark that has an international standard that is defined and audited.

What is the difference between Plant Based and Vegan certification?

Something that is Vegan is plant-based, but something plant-based is not necessarily vegan. ‘Plant-Based’ means that something is primarily plant-based but can contain traces of animal by-products in the final product from ingredients used or from the manufacturing process. A vegan should not be looking for a plant-based label. An ethical vegan should only want a vegan certification. Here’s an example. A product made with sugar that uses bone char to refine the sugar can be plant-based. That product, however, is not Vegan. Plant-based is a popular term for the flexitarian but is not an acceptable term for a Vegan.

What is the difference between Cruelty-Free and Vegan Certification?

If something is certified vegan, it is cruelty-free in that there is no animal exploitation used to achieve the final product. Cruelty-free by itself usually addresses animal testing but it does not address vegan. Cruelty-free is not a phrase recognized under the law but it is a phrase commonly associated with a leaping bunny that stands for no animal testing. An ethical vegan should want to see a certified vegan trademark in addition to a cruelty-free claim to ensure all their bases are covered. Cruelty-free is certainly not a claim to be used in place of vegan. They are not the same claim and they have different scheme requirements and assigned definitions. Cruelty-free can mean many things. There is no legal definition or standard of accountability. It can mean anything from:

Difference Between BeVeg and other Vegan Trademarks?

Simply stated: BeVeg is the only Vegan trademark in the world under accreditation. That means BeVeg is the only program with consistent application of an internationally accepted Vegan trademark, and third-party audits, making BeVeg certified the most reliable and consistent benchmark for global Vegan claims. 

​​You cannot compare other known trademarks to a real Vegan standard. Trademarks are very different from an ISO accredited technical standard requiring third-party audits. Anyone can hire a lawyer to register a trademark. Use of the trademark does not mean consistent application or a meaningfully audited and verified claim. BeVeg is an official Vegan standard with consistent application and audits in about 200 countries. BeVeg is a third-party Vegan standard and uses third-party technical administrators, like NSF and OU, to warrant and assure Vegan label claims are made in accordance with and with deference to BeVeg Vegan integrity. BeVeg is an integrity standard drafted with GFSI benchmarks in mind. While BeVeg is a newer entrant to the market, it is certainly superior and cannot be compared to a simple trademark that does not even conduct third-party technical audits. The other Vegan trademarks are not certification standards, but rather verification standards. To be an official certifier you need accreditation and a program. BeVeg is the only official accredited certifying body for Vegan label claims, and all technical administrators are accredited by ISO (international standardization organization) and have completed training. 

Moreover, the other known Vegan trademarks aren’t as globally recognized. For example in the UK you need the sunflower logo but in the USA you need the heart logo, but if you go with BeVeg, you are recognized on both continents and do not need to change your packaging or labels. BeVeg is recognized and registered on 6 continents.

But then this leads us to the next question, how do we judge which is the best Vegan certification?

You want the certification that is internationally recognized and accredited. I manage BeVeg India and believe in the heightened standard of our vegan scheme, so I’ll take this opportunity to explain why us. BeVeg has more global trademark protection than any other vegan logo out there. This is important for those looking to international distribution of their product as they want the vegan symbol that has international legal recognition. BeVeg has trademark protection on every continent except Antarctica. BeVeg is the only vegan scheme drafted by lawyers and the global vegan trademark is the only law-firm-issued vegan symbol in the world. That brings unprecedented credibility and integrity to the vegan process. Before BeVeg, there was no internationally accredited vegan scheme in the world or global conformity assessment program. BeVeg attorneys have drafted the vegan scheme and vegan program for accreditation to set the global standard and keep that standard uniform and accountable. BeVeg has a heightened standard that considers trade secret disclosures, audits and lab tests. For these reasons and more, I believe BeVeg is the certification program that’s best, as we are passionately led by not only vegan advocates but experienced and educated lawyers with a law firm backing.

But what about DNA testing wouldn’t that be the best Vegan certification?

At BeVeg we have kits to lab test products to ensure there is no animal protein found in the final product. After the paperwork process review is complete, the products are subject to on-site audits and inspections to ensure there’s no cross-contamination. The products are also subject to random surveillance testing on site and in stores. Likewise, products are required to send samples to BeVeg or to designated labs by BeVeg to be tested for animal proteins. There are two scientific tests used to ensure there’s no egg or animal proteins found in the final BeVeg certified vegan product. Right now, lab analysis cannot always detect an animal ingredient that may have been used as a processing aid, and that’s why this must be used as a supplement to onsite inspections, and in addition to a paperwork review process where legal documents and affidavits are signed and then audited. Most production happens in batches. That means that if it is a shared facility and the lab test signifies a spillover than that batch must be recalled and that facility needs additional checks or testing (rather than once annually) on their cleaning mechanisms between products processed and more lab tests batches must be done to ensure the products maintain vegan integrity. The exact requirements vary on the particular situation and are outlined internally at BeVeg.

How do we safeguard the consumer against the production unit cutting corners once they’ve achieved Vegan certification?

Certification must be passed and approved annually. That’s the only way to maintain quality control. Also, any supplier changes must always be immediately disclosed, audited, and approved as well throughout the year of certification. Products are also subject to surveillance testing, which is random market testing of the certified vegan products in stores and/or at the manufacturing plants.

What are the BeVeg Vegan Trademarks?

BeVeg has two stylized vegan symbols with worldwide trademark protection. As a law firm, BevVeg has two specialized processes to consider for vegan certification.One is for alcoholic beverages and the other is for all other consumable products. Each vegan symbol represents passage of that specific process. The wine glass BeVeg vegan logo is the only vegan symbol in the world made specifically for beverages.

Why is BeVeg the Gold Standard Vegan Symbol?

The vegan symbols licensed by BeVeg are the only vegan symbols in the world backed by a law firm with global reach. Lawyers by nature are regulators. We are professional experts with trained legal minds to define a standard, and raise the standard for consumer transparency. BeVeg is the gold standard for vegan certification as featured in ForbesCBSNBC, PETA, Social Life Hamptons Magazine, Veg World Magazine, Vegetarisimo Magazine, VRG, LiveKindly Magazine, Metropolitan Magazine, California Wine Advisor, VegFests, at Seed Food & Wine Summit, among others, and used and endorsed by celebrity super model, Christie Brinkley.The BevVeg certification mark is considered the honest label, must-have, good housekeeping seal of approval for vegan claims.

Do all my products need to be vegan in order to apply for Vegan Certification?

No. We certify products, not companies. You can certify some or all of your products. Our goal is to make the vegan symbol accessible to all products and companies whose practices are in alignment with the BeVeg Vegan Standards, as BeVeg is here to make the consumers’ shopping experience easier. Register your vegan products with us, and join our exploding network. BeVeg vegan products also get listed on our free consumer app.

Can I change the color of BeVeg Vegan Logos?

Yes. The trademark is not color specific. That means you can change the color of the BeVeg vegan certification marks to match the companies packaging.

How long does the BeVeg Certified Vegan Trademark license last and where can I put the logo?

It’s a 12 month license. You can use the vegan symbol on vegan verified product packaging, social media, your website, and other marketing materials, so long as it is clear which products are BeVeg vegan certified and it does not imply all products are blanketly approved.

How long does it take to get certified vegan?

It can take anywhere from a week to 60 days. It is all dependent on the ingredients, processes, and suppliers and how well suppliers communicate and how quickly they respond to BeVeg discovery requests.

How do I know if a product is vegan?

Sadly, if it does not have a BeVeg certified vegan symbol, you do not know what standards were applied to make that vegan claim. The best thing to go would be to reach out to the companies directly to ask; create the consumer demand for honest labeling and transparency in labeling laws.

Can anyone use the BeVeg certified vegan symbols?

Only those products that pass certification are legally allowed to use the BeVeg vegan certified logos. Please contact us immediately if you suspect any misuse.

What are the costs to certify vegan with BeVeg?

The cost of certification is based on a number of custom factors. We consider the number of products applied for, company revenue, whether you are a brand owner or private label, whether your product is made at a certified BeVeg vegan facility, whether your facility has other safety certifications, whether it is a shared facility or dedicated vegan facility, we assess the risk of cross-contamination at the facility, where consider where the manufacturing facility is located, how many manufacturing plants there are, and many other factors to ensure a unique quote that makes perfect sense for your company or brand. Please fill out the intake application so we can contact you with your special offer.

How does the Vegan certification process work?

We start by answering a few initial questions on our website, these are seen as “to the best of your knowledge” answers as we will be digging a little deeper when we complete this part – We then work out the most affordable fee for each individual company either based on the amount of products they want to certify or their Gross Annual Revenue (you can check out the calculator on our website to understand this a little more) They are then sent an automatic email asking for their suppliers, ingredients, cleaning practices and any other information we may need, this is then sent to our applications team for review and we will get back to you within 2 weeks with our results!

Why BeVeg Vegan certification helps you get noticed by retailers?

At BeVeg, we are a team of Vegans who created a globally accredited Vegan certification standard. We have partnered with RangeMe to help Vegan and plant-based brands get into retailers. We know the struggles of standing in supermarkets for far longer than needed just to try and live the conscious lifestyle we’re striving for and think it’s time for this to change! We know retailers are risk averse to product recalls and want to protect product Vegan label claims. We make sure to promote our certified Vegan brands as much as possible through influencer engagement, social media, weekly shows and press releases to support you as much as you are supporting the vegan community.

I don't think I need a vegan certification?

We understand, if you are an established brand who is already well known in the vegan community you may not see the need here. However, we are trying to show the vegan community that these brands are here for them! That they support the idea of one global standard and want those companies who have been saying they are vegan with no checks can be held accountable. The vegan claim has no legal standing at the moment and we don’t think that is fair when people living this way have to go out of their way just to harm the planet a little less. Yes, you may be known but don’t you want to show those who are using veganism for monetary gain that we expect them to be certified too?

Can I Certify Vegan Fruit?

Yes! If you think that all the fruits you buy at the supermarket are Vegan, think again! Recently a customer at Tesco found herself shocked when she saw that the oranges, mandarins and satsumas were labeled non-vegan. The fruit itself is obviously inherently Vegan, but what about the chemicals added to make it shiny on shelves? That’s insect juice….

In some cases, pesticides like Imazalil and E904 are used to protect the fruit, and make it grow and look better. However, the wax on this chemical is made from shellac, a resin derived from the lac bug. In the EU, this chemical is banned, but outside of that it is not always applicable. That means you need to think carefully when ordering that shiny lemon to drop in your water, or that pretty apple to bite into! 

While most fruits are safe to buy and inherently Vegan, the consumer is quite unaware of these unnecessary additives, and they have the right to know about them. In general, there is limited governmental regulation for Vegan labeling, which easily misleads and tricks the consumer. While there is regulation for consumer protection laws to prevent misleading information on labels, the scope of those laws fall short at Vegan protection. Basically, any brand owner can self-certify themselves with a Vegan trademark, causing label credibility and true verification concerns. 

One of the ways to be completely reassured is by choosing brands with a trustworthy Vegan label – like BeVeg. BeVeg, is the world’s leading Vegan certification standard, and the only one with international accreditation through ISO 17065 and recognized in accordance with 17067. BeVeg Vegan Certified means the product is Vegan, and keeps the supply chain accountable, requiring full transparency or process, audits, testing, and ingredient disclosure. 

BeVeg is on a mission to protect the consumer and make life of the plant-based consumer easier, honest, and stress-free. While the Tesco incident is a rare one, and though the consumer need not obsess over shiny fruit and the origin of its shine, it does highlight the problem around Vegan labeling laws and teaches us not to make an assumption that anything is Vegan without the proper certified Vegan trademark. If you’d like to make your Vegan label claim official, check out BeVeg, the world’s leading and only accredited Vegan trademark standard. 

Do I have to be a dedicated Vegan facility to be BeVeg Vegan certified?

No. Most facilities that apply for and achieve BeVeg certification are shared facilities and plants. That is why BeVeg brings meaning to Vegan label claims processed from these shared facilities. BeVeg requires controls to be in place to ensure no animal contamination during the manufacturing process. This requires updating standard operating procedures (SOPs) and HACCP plans to reflect a commitment to Vegan / BeVeg integrity. This ensures mechanisms are in place to enforce true Vegan label integrity for the final BeVeg certified product using the official Vegan trademark. 

How Can We Help?

Request info or a free quote.

Contact Us