Vegetarian Labelling: Why & How by HC120207095034


									Vegetarian Labelling:
Why & How

        Vegetarian Society
Thank You

 To SPRING for organizing this
 To all of you for attending
 VSS looks forward to liaising with
 food manufacturers
Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
 Founded 1999
 Affiliated with International Vegetarian
 ~175 members; all-volunteer organisation
 ~ 1750 subscribers to free e-Newsletter
Why Vegetarian Labelling

      VSS Favours Labelling of
       Products Suitable for
Types of Vegetarians

 Lacto-ovo – eat eggs and dairy
 Lacto – eat dairy, but not eggs
 Vegan – no animal products
 Non-veg issues: garlic, onion, root
Reasons for Choosing
Vegetarian Food
 Food safety
 Compassion for other animals
 Reducing World Hunger
   Not just Buddhists and Hindus
Vegetarians Worldwide
  No reliable numbers, but certainly in the
  10s of millions, probably over 100 million
  Even more meat-reducers (people who
  are trying to eat less animal flesh)
  UK market exceeds GBP900mn, with
  meat reducers included
  More than 5 million vegetarians in US:
A report from Mintel (Marketing
Intelligence) published in June 2000
identified nearly half of the UK population
as vegetarian "appreciators"
The demand for such products continues to
grow with the only resistance in the retired
age groups
Vegetarianism in Asia

 Religion – part-time vegetarianism
 Increasing health consciousness
 Avian Flu – stopping the Flunami
 Environmental concerns
Size of the Local Market?

 Buddhism is the largest religion –
 many Buddhists are full or occasional
 Same for Hindus and Sikhs, as well
 as Sai Baba devotees
 Jains are full-time vegetarians
 Tourists from India and elsewhere
Health consciousness growing
More veg items at NTUC and more salads
Government campaign to eat more fruit &
veg, and for healthier restaurant cuisine
Greater concern for nonhuman animals
Singapore one of the world’s top veg cities,
based on what vegetarians tell us
Concerns of Local Vegetarians
 Non-vegetarian rennet in cheese
 Chicken stock in soup
 Veg items cooked in the same oil or with
 same utensils as non-veg items
 Unknown items, e.g., “natural flavours”
 Fortified foods
   Some vegetarians need B12
   Some foods fortified with Omega 3
How to Do
Vegetarian Labelling
UK Veg Society
 25 full-time staff overall at UKVS
 Largest existing veg labelling scheme in
 terms of products involved, 3 full-time staff
 CEO – Tina Fox:
 Staff do factory, restaurant visits
 Works w/ government Food Standards
 Sub-licensed in Europe, Australia, S.
 Africa, and elsewhere
Scheme intended to benefit the
Society and the licence holder
Society helps promote the products
and restaurants
Details at Society’s website:
UK Vegetarian Society’s Label

 It’s a seedling, not a V or a tick
 First used 1966; registered 1976
 Officially administered by a trading
 company, VSUK Ltd, wholly owned by
 the UKVS
 Scheme’s criteria have changed over
 the years
UK Veg Society Criteria
 Animal flesh
 Meat, fish or bone stock or stock cubes
 Animal carcass fats
 Gelatine, aspic, or gelatine-based products
 Eggs or egg products, other than free
 Royal Jelly
E numbers containing any of the same
  A code number given to food additives by EU
Products or ingredients animal-tested since
Genetically modified products or
No cross-contamination with non-veg
products made at the same site
What Makes Foods Non-Veg
   Many little-known animal-based products
   e.g., Cochineal, (E120 crushed beetles to
   produce red colourant)
 Processes, e.g., fish products used in
 making some beers or to remove sediment
 from fruit juices,,2-
Non-Veg Ingredients
UK Veg Society Fees
 License fee for using the trademark ranges
 from GBP300/yr – GBP10,000/yr
 Fee calculated based on the number of
 products, turnover and difficulty of licensing
 The price here would probably be lower, as
 a newly launched label carries less impact
  More than 2000 products licensed:
  searchable database, even McD’s:
  On rare occasions, license has been
  Company didn’t cooperate
  e.g., put the label on a new product but
  didn’t tell the Society about the product
Society members monitor
 if a product with label really been
 if there is a company with good
 products that should be contacted
 about licensing
Cooperating with Companies
  Society helps companies with food
  development/tasting; does talks for staff
  Facilitated by the Society’s cookery
  Society does a yearly award ceremony
  for top veg products and services:
Other Schemes
 There is a smaller EU veg labelling scheme
 Vegan Society UK has a much smaller
 Individual supermarket chains, such as
 Tesco and Safeway, have schemes
 Question is validity of a scheme
 Will people trust a company to police itself?

  Sometimes, labels are accompanied
  by words to show differences
  For example, a vegetarian label,
  with “suitable for vegans” for those
  products that contain absolutely no
  animal-derived ingredients
  In some countries, multiple
  languages are used
Will a Veg Label
Turn Off the Non-Veg?
 Probably not
 Non-Muslims eat halal food
 Non-Jews eat kosher food
 Many people enjoy being veg part-time
 People buy for veg family member/friend
 Veg food may be seen as safer, given bird
 flu and the fact that most food poisoning is
 linked with animal-based products
Pluses & Minuses
 A Singapore Veg label:
   Plus: we set criteria
   Minus: recognition needs to be built
 An International Veg label:
   Plus: broader recognition
   Minus: how to agree on criteria
 Strict list of ingredients:
   Plus: no label needed
   Minus: ignorance about ingredients
In Conclusion

 VSS respects the knowledge and
 concerns of food manufacturers
 We look forward to working with you
 to further our common goals

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