Published: 06/17/2010 - Updated: 06/22/2016
Author: Jorgelina Reyente
The solution for those looking for products made 100% vegetarian is coming … and it’s because a label for prepared products that contain no animal component, i.e. they are entirely vegetarian has been created in Europe: it is Label V or Vegetarian Union.
How did the label V appear?
About 20 years ago, efforts were made to launch a vegetarian label worldwide. In fact, William Pick, President of the Jewish Vegetarian Society, tried to introduce in 1976 a universal vegetarian symbol.
The current V label was created by an Italian artist: Professor Bruno Nascimben (Castenaso) and presented for use worldwide in the EVU congress held in 1985 in Cervia, Italy. Since then, many vegetarian and vegan organizations have adopted the logo, so it has become the most widely used vegetarian symbol worldwide.
The market for vegetarian products and meat alternatives is growing rapidly, so there is a pretty obvious call for assistance to help consumers identify those products.
In Switzerland, the permissions granted to the food industry since 1996. Since then, the label has been launched in more countries and is already entered in almost all European nations from Portugal to Russia. It has invested a great job in regard to standards, criteria and many other issues. A growing number of vegetarian organizations are joining this initiative of the EVU.
Why a label for products without meat?
- There is no guarantee when you buy enough vegetarian or vegan products (totally based on non-animal products: cereals, legumes, vegetables, algae …).
- "Supposedly vegetarian food" which is available on the market.
- Distrust in the fast-food.
- The existence, increasing the so-called "convenience foods", which is difficult to detect meat products.
- Clear labeling on all non-meat products being sold.
- The appointment of suppliers / restaurants that provide food suitable for vegetarians.
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- The fast and clear recognition of vegetarian and vegan products.
- The market promotion of vegetarian and vegan products.
- A uniform labeling at European, vegetarian products.
- To promote that there are vegetarian options in restaurants.
- Consumers concerned about what they eat
- Consumers reducing their meat intake
- Allergic people
- Members of religious communities with specific restrictions in their diet (prohibition of pork and other products made from it, Kosher or Halal)
No more meat
After the outbreak of mad cow disease, 8% of Germans said they decided to become vegetarian. According to one study, 30% of German women aged 18 to 25 years, said that only eat meat once a week, and wanted to further reduce this intake. This means that in Germany alone, almost 6 and a half million people (6.4 million) could benefit from the label V. You can see the same trend in other European countries. According to a study by Nutri-Trend, 9% of the Swiss population are following this path.
The scandals associated with animal feed and meat industry are causing more and more consumers opt for a vegetarian lifestyle.
Welcome to the V label!
The label V has a long-term goal – to continuously increase the market for meat-free products on the market.
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This tag provides support for the food industry and restaurants, so they can fend for themselves against a trend that will become stronger in the future.
About the European Vegetarian Union (EVU)
The European Vegetarian Union (European Vegetarian Union, EVU) is an “umbrella” organization for most vegetarian groups in Europe. EVU's mission is to enhance cooperation between European and vegetarian groups to inform citizens.
In view of globalization that there is implementation, and various mergers within the food sector, the EVU label launched a standardized European vegetarian, in order to easily identify products as services such as vegetarians.
However, the EVU itself already existed for some time:
The original plan to improve cooperation reached a concrete stage in the first European Vegetarian Congress in Cervia, Italy in 1985. In December of that year, representatives of seven European vegetarian met in Brussels to discuss possibilities of cooperation that existed. The EVU was founded in 1988 and officially registered in the Netherlands and international union. At present, the secretariat in Belgium.
The EVU is considered itself as an umbrella organization for European vegetarian organizations and assists them in their activities regarding vegetarianism, animal rights, ecology, the campaign against world hunger and health issues and consumer protection.
The first objective is to support the EVU vegetarian entities in the different European countries and unite its members, especially in countries where the vegetarian ideas are not clearly defined.
The cooperation among the member organizations is accomplished primarily through the quarterly magazine "European Vegetarian", which reports on all events, trends, events, initiatives and activities that are related to vegetarians.
The personal contacts between vegetarians throughout Europe and the creation of an international agreement, such as exchange of ideas and information and mutual assistance are also important. So meetings and events of the EVU are conducted to inform and support each other through conferences and workshops on recent achievements and discoveries. Thus, improving efficiency and solidarity.
As a member of the International Vegetarian Union-International Vegetarian Union (IVU), the EVU has contact with the international vegetarian community.
In the long term, the intention of the EVU is followed very closely the international political and economic achievements, and influence them, wherever necessary and feasible.
The vegetarian movement is gaining increasing popularity in Western societies, along with the increased cultural and social welfare, being regarded as a healthy lifestyle and solidarity with the animals and the environment. In Anglo-Saxon countries, the associative movement has contributed greatly to its popularity, through public campaigns and providing the necessary assistance to members.
It is therefore necessary to have a representative body bringing together the vegetarian movement in its various currents, to express our opinion in society, spread our ideals, supporting those who wish to put in the vegetarian diet and act as a forum for exchange of ideas between members.
Thus, we propose the creation of the Spanish Vegetarian Union (UVE), which will allow the affiliation of members, supporters and related associations, and must implement the above objectives through the following activities:
- Creation and distribution of informational material available to everyone, both on paper and online (brochures, guides initiation, etc.)
- Support information: responding to queries by mail and e-mail
- Creating a documentary and bibliographic project
- Publication of a journal for members
- Meetings and conferences as a meeting and exchange of ideas among members
- Conducting public lectures and interviews
- Appointing local representatives for specific activities in different corners of our geography
- Organizing introductory courses in vegetarian nutrition, and training courses in vegetarian cooking, at all levels
- Over time, it should aim to influence on society and the food market, paving the way for the creation of a "vegetarian label" to identify products suitable for vegetarians, similarly as it exists in the United Kingdom, for example.
For more information visit: v-label.eu
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