Why Plant-Based Products Need Vegan Certification

Did you know that plant-based does not mean Vegan, but Vegan means plant-based and cruelty-free? 

Plant-based is a diet that strives for animal-free ingredients, but the consumer expectation from a plant-based claim is that it is not animal product and cruelty-free, like that of an official Vegan claim. In fact, the plant based certified standard explicitly states “ingredients that are not of plant or animal origin are allowed as long as individually or combined they do not exceed 10% of the product formula.” 

BeVeg is the world’s only Vegan trademark under accreditation with compulsory audits. Audits are necessary as lab testing does not detect all known animal DNA, and any detectable limits discovered in a lab test should not qualify a product for Vegan certified claim status. As the law stands now, the FDA Labeling Guide does not require disclosure of all ingredients and allows a rounding down to zero if an ingredient is less than .5 grams per serving. Vegan certification by BeVeg does not allow for any detectable amount of animal DNA findings, and requires company applicants to be forthcoming with all ingredient and process disclosures as part of the Vegan certification process. A BeVeg certified Vegan claim, is the most robust, meaningful and clean claim. 

That’s why the Orthodox Union partnered with BeVeg. As the leading provider of kosher certification, OU Kosher is fully authorized and trained on the BeVeg Vegan certification standard.

“Any legitimate Vegan certification program raises the bar and requires a full disclosure of all animal contaminants and animal DNA even if it is less than .5 grams per serving, and conducts compulsory on-site audits to warrant truly meaningful Vegan label claims,” says attorney Carissa Kranz, BeVeg CEO.  

The BeVeg Vegan certification program is considered the leading Vegan stamp of approval for manufacturing facilities and brand owners, as recently adopted by NSF, a leading food safety certifier and quality assurance auditing body for other high standard industry audits. BeVeg is an ISO accredited standard drafted with GFSI benchmark standards in mind. 

To qualify for BeVeg certification you do not need to have a strictly Vegan facility or space. You do, however, need to have standard operating procedures in place that warrants and assures no animal contamination in the manufacturing process, to protect Vegan label claim integrity, just like official gluten-free, non-gmo and kosher claims require. 

“Since most manufacturing facilities are shared facilities and shared production lines, such a high standard can only be achieved and verified with third-party audits of manufacturing facility processes at the plant level. Otherwise, Vegan claim integrity compromised. No one can commit to such a high standard claim, nor should they, without being able to back it up and prove Vegan ideals at the manufacturing plant” says attorney Carissa Kranz, BeVeg International CEO. 

BeVeg is the only accredited Vegan certification standard for manufacturing facilities and co-packers. In fact, other Vegan trademarks on the market are without standards, without audits, and specifically state they do not certify manufacturing processes and facilities. 

If your facility makes Vegan products, or you have a plant-based product, consider adding the official Vegan audit on your next OU Kosher supervisory visit. In effect, BeVeg has three certifications in one: BeVeg certified claims are always Vegan, plant-based and cruelty-free. The BeVeg Vegan certification program is managed by a law firm, which brings unprecedented credibility to Vegan label claims using the BeVeg international Vegan Trademarks

If you’re interested in Vegan certification please contact your RC (Rabbinic Coordinator). 

Gary Magder