International labeling of vegan and vegetarian products is coming to Lithuania


In the near future, there should be an increase in the number of vegan and vegetarian products produced in Lithuania marked with the international mark "V-Label". The most popular labeling system for such products in Europe will have its representatives in Lithuania from now on. According to Karolis Jonuš, a representative of the non-governmental organization Gyvi gali, which is becoming a partner of V-Label, it will allow manufacturers to get the right offers for them faster, easier and under market conditions, and consumers will see the products they want on the shelves much faster, thus improving their shopping experience. 

The development of the brand did not overtake the Baltic countries

The labeling system, which has been operating since 1996 and was founded in Switzerland, has recently been strongly expanding its activities to different regions. Although "V-Label" is best known in Western Europe, the Baltic region, where the development will be carried out by the non-governmental organization "Gyvi Gali", joins a network that has operated in 30 countries so far, and is not limited to Europe. 

According to "Gyvi gali" representatives, this is an extraordinary opportunity for regional producers to get help in the local language and to purchase labeling under market conditions. "Until now, manufacturers who wanted to mark their products with an international mark had to apply to the central headquarters. From now on, we will be ready to provide the necessary services to Lithuanian manufacturers faster, with better quality and more in line with their needs", says Karolis Jonušas, sales manager of Gyvi gali. 

"V-Label" manager Martin Ranninger is happy that this cooperation can help to increase the awareness and credibility of "V-Label" in the Baltic countries. "We believe that freedom of choice lies in the hands of consumers. The partnership with Gyvi gali will help us inform customers about healthier and more ethical choices for themselves and the planet," says M. Ranninger. 

Advantages for business

Growing interest in plant-based products around the world inevitably forces businesses to adapt. Buyers do not want to waste time reading the labels of all products, so those manufacturers who choose to mark their products with an easily recognizable mark win - their products are noticed first. 

According to the manager of V-Label, this is also a great opportunity for exporting businesses: "Markets such as Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands or other Central and Western European countries are increasingly demanding that the products supplied to them be labeled with international labels." Some grocery chains won't even accept products on their vegan or vegetarian shelves if they don't have the appropriate labeling. In the long run, more often such labeling will no longer be of a recommendatory nature, but of a mandatory nature. The sooner local manufacturers get their license, the easier it will be for them in the future," says M. Ranninger.

It is also an important aspect for business that by purchasing a V-Label license, producers not only get the exclusivity of their products, but also support a local organization working on plant-based food promotion. "This labeling system is unique in terms of its added value - businesses label their products, consumers recognize and buy them more easily, and the fee paid for using the label contributes to the activities of a local non-governmental organization, thus generating even greater interest in plant-based food and products." So, the wheel turns - this increases the sales of such products even more", says K. Jonušas. 

Warranty for users

According to the labeling organization, because the terms "vegan" or "vegetarian" are not defined in international law, manufacturers are free to label products arbitrarily without delving into the differences between such products. Then the buyers purchase the product, and look at the composition of the product only after returning home. When they see the wrong ingredients there, they feel confused and disappointed.

Manufacturers will be thoroughly checked to mark their products with the "V-Label", so consumers can be sure that they are purchasing correctly labeled products. "More than once, we have come across product packages on which the manufacturers themselves mark certain product properties, but when we finally look at the composition, we see that they do not correspond to that marking. V-Label has clear and strict criteria that manufacturers must meet in order to label their products, and is constantly audited to ensure quality. And consumers are much more inclined to trust the labeling of independent evaluators than the packaging information provided by the manufacturers themselves," says K. Jonušas.

Vegan and vegetarian food, beverages, cosmetics, textiles and other products are marked with the "V-Label" mark. If improper use of the mark is noticed, the manufacturers are immediately contacted and required to change the mark. 

Vegetarian products are products that do not use animals or their body parts. The labeling of vegan products includes products that do not contain various animal products, such as eggs, dairy products, honey, various flavor enhancers derived from animal substances, sweeteners, dyes and the like. In contrast to the list of ingredients, the products used in the processing process must also be presented in order to obtain the label. Also, products containing GMOs and products with eggs from chickens kept in captivity are not marked with this sign.

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