I have noticed recently more food products are being labeled Certified Vegan. While this particular certification makes me happy, I became curious about what it actually meant.

This is what I found…

Who Certifies Something Vegan?

The label is issued by The Vegan Awareness Foundation, founded in 1995, and is only currently permitted on products made by companies in the US, Canada and Australia. Their website is Vegan.org and they also go by the name Vegan Action. 

What does it mean to be certified?

Technically, the Vegan Certified logo means the product does not contain animal products or byproducts and that it has not been tested on animals. That last part pleasantly surprised me. I also had to clarify exactly what byproduct meant. Turns out it is pretty much anything from the animal other than meat. Examples of this would be flesh, bones, eggs, honey, feathers, you get the point.

How do companies get certified?

So they don’t actually certify companies, they certify specific products. You have to submit an application and paperwork to be considered for the certification. The cost for certification is based on annual revenue.

Can I trust it?

The application to obtain permission to use the Vegan Certified logo is pretty simple and straightforward. Companies are required to list their ingredients and where they are sourced. They also don’t allow any refined sugar that has been filtered through bone char(I’m like what the heck is this?…stay tuned for that post). If equipment is shared with non-vegan food items, they have to provide information regarding cleaning methods to prevent cross contamination. They have to sign some statements saying that yes, their product is vegan and no, they don’t test it on animals. I sent them an email inquiring if they ever go to the companies, either before or after certification, and see if they are legit. I will update the post when I hear back.

In the end, I’m still happy about the certification and I will keep looking for it on products I buy. It makes the process of shopping vegan so much easier. I also like the fact that it’s a thing. That something should need to be certified vegan is encouraging.

Have you seen it on the products you buy? Let me know your thought on the Certified Vegan logo.