Vegan Labels – Do They Really Exist?
Are you one of over half a million people in the UK who is Vegan? Veganism has increased in popularity over 350% in the past ten years alone. This is thanks to increased research into the health and environment benefits not to mention being cruelty free to animals. Whilst Veganism is on the rise, where can you get Vegan labels?
What does it mean to be Vegan?
Generally speaking, you would avoid products containing or using meat or animal by-products including honey or bee products, insect or bone char.
It can be difficult making informed choices on what you can use, as there is no law in the UK to say that products have to be labelled as Vegan.
This means, as a consumer, you need to read all the information on the labels to be able to make an informed choice on your purchase. This can be time consuming and not to mention rather frustrating.
Sometimes there are animal by-products where you would not expect them. Take for example labels. The glue used on labels was traditionally made using bone parts or casein (milk protein).
Another consideration is the ink used on labels. Inks sometimes contain animal bone char, glycerin from animal fat, gelatin from hooves, or shellac from beetles.
Another concern might be the process the label needs to go through, i.e. the machinery used in production.
Typically printing equipment is very expensive and will be used for both traditional and vegan labelling.
What am I required to include on my Vegan label?
At the moment there is no requirement under UK law to state whether a product is Vegan or Vegetarian. However, the more information we can add to a label, the easier it will be for the consumer make an informed choice.
Some big supermarkets are now committing to labelling their own products as Vegan which is considered a step in the right direction by many!
Can we Supply Vegan Labels?
In short – no. We have searched high and low for Vegan label materials. Because the supply chain is long – none of the manufacturers are prepared to certify that their label materials are truly Vegan.
Pretty much all the labels Expert Labels now offers uses acrylic glues. The adhesive performance is generally better than with traditional labels so no compromise has to be made on quality.
With inks, many of our labels can be printed using inks made from soya beans and can be request.
Paper doesn’t generally contain animal products or by-products, but there are many different papers and the chance of finding animal products can’t be dismissed.
Digital printing presses use toner and toner is certified animal free – so labels made using this process are free of animal products.
So, in summary, whilst many of our products will be animal free, it can’t be certified.