Petition calls for standardised labelling of vegan and vegetarian foods in New Zealand

Image: NZ Vegetarian Society

Petition Calls for Standardised Labelling of Vegan & Vegetarian Products in New Zealand

The NZ Vegetarian Society (NZVS) and the Vegan Society of Aotearoa have partnered to launch a petition advocating clear and standardised labelling for vegan and vegetarian foods in New Zealand. The organisations are calling on the government to implement legislation to prevent consumer confusion, following an increase in the use of terms such as “plant-based” or “less dairy” for products that may contain animal ingredients. They argue that ambiguous labelling impacts not just vegans and vegetarians but also allergy sufferers and people who avoid certain foods for religious reasons. The petition says that products marked “vegan” must be completely free of animal-derived ingredients, while vegetarian products should not contain meat, seafood, or other ingredients resulting from animal slaughter (such as gelatine or rennet). Additionally, if …

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Darebin Becomes 1st Australian Council to Endorse the Plant Based Treaty with 8 Votes Against 1

Darebin Council recently passed a motion becoming the first Australian council to endorse the global Plant Based Treaty having been overwhelmingly accepted with eight votes in favour and just one against the motion. The organisation advocates for a shift towards a plant-based food system, calling for a global agreement that aligns the food system to the Paris Agreement, along with the implementation of best practices in plant-based food policy at the city and institutional levels. The proposed treaty has been endorsed by 30 cities, including Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, and recently, Belfast. It has thus far generated support from 150,000 individual endorsers, 5 Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, and more than 3000 groups and businesses, including The Australian Vegetarian Society (NSW), Animals Australia, Animal Justice Party …

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Lancaster University votes for plant-based catering

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Lancaster University Students’ Union Votes for Fully Plant-Based Catering With Huge 95% Majority

The Students’ Union at Lancaster University in the north of England has passed a motion to transition to 100% plant-based catering across campus. In a vote, the motion was supported by a huge 95% of the members present, after being backed by student campaigners and academics. It proposes a gradual transition, with a target of 50% plant-based catering by 2025 and 100% by 2027. Lancaster is the twelfth UK Students’ Union to vote for plant-based catering, along with others at the University of Kent, the University of Stirling, the University of Cambridge, and more. All have made the commitment as part of Plant-Based Universities, a campaign by animal and climate justice movement Animal Rising that is now active at over 80 universities worldwide. “We are …

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Image courtesy of No Meat May

No Meat May Celebrates Twelfth Year With a Record Breaking 76,000 Signups

No Meat May, an annual campaign challenging participants to give up meat for 31 days, is celebrating its twelfth year. The campaign has seen a record-breaking 76,000 signups in 2024, with many more people believed to be taking part unofficially. This is a 33% increase compared to 2023, indicating that interest in plant-based diets continues to rise. Over a million people have taken part in No Meat May since it was founded in 2013. While the UK, the USA, Canada, and Australia see the largest numbers of participants, signups come from over 60 countries worldwide. The campaign has attracted celebrity endorsers such as Dame Joanna Lumley, Fearne Cotton, and Jasmine Harman. “Why not give it a try? Day by day, go without meat, or cut …

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Support Plant-Based Cooking Workshops in African Schools

The Animal Welfare and Environment Network for Tanzania (AWENET) raises awareness in Tanzanian schools about the environmental and health benefits of plant-based eating. The organisation has made Meatless Mondays and Fridays possible in schools, while their Vegan School Lunches Outreach Programme aims to reach 12,000 students this year – all made possible thanks to the support of ProVeg Grants. Your donation to ProVeg Grants will help organisations like AWENET to expand their plant-based school food programmes, thus impacting hundreds of catering staff and thousands of students. Since launching in 2019, ProVeg Grants has provided more than 900 grants to organisations and individuals in over 90 countries working to change the global food system. Every contribution you make reaches, supports, and empowers organisations around the world. …

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caged chickens

©Compassion in World Farming

93% of Global Food Companies Receive Low Ratings for Animal Welfare Improvements

A new version of the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) has found that the vast majority of global food companies are making poor progress towards improving animal welfare. While 95% of the benchmarked companies recognize farm animal welfare as a core business issue, a huge 93% have received E or F ratings (the lowest possible) for Performance Impact, a measure of whether animals are protected from inhumane practices. Some of the lowest-rated companies are Amazon Whole Foods, Domino’s Pizza Inc., Müller, and Tyson Foods. No company received an A or B rating, and only 4% achieved a C. Furthermore, 19 companies — including Yum China Holdings and Domino’s Pizza Inc. — do not even have a formal farm animal welfare policy. 52% of …

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Middle East Vegan Society

Seb Alex. Image: Middle East Vegan Society

V-Label Announces Partnership With Middle East Vegan Society

International vegan and vegetarian trademark V-Label has announced a partnership with the Middle East Vegan Society (MEVS) to promote the transparent labeling of vegan and vegetarian products in the region. The two organizations will work together to increase the adoption of V-Label certification among Middle Eastern producers and retailers. The collaboration will be active in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, Bahrain, and Kuwait. V-Label provides certification for both food and non-food items that meet its stringent criteria. Through the collaboration with MEVS, the organization will support the growing number of consumers in the region who are turning to veganism. “We are thrilled to partner with the Middle East Vegan Society to further our mission of promoting veganism worldwide,” said Martin Ranninger, co-director of V-Label. “By …

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Veganuary choose chicken free

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Veganuary Launches ‘Choose Chicken-Free Week’ in the US With Nationwide Initiatives

Veganuary, the non-profit initiative encouraging plant-based diets, is initiating its “Choose Chicken-Free Week” starting next Monday, accompanied by a range of discounts and special offerings from various brands and eateries across the United States. Following the successful introduction of over 2,000 new vegan products and dishes worldwide during Veganuary 2024, the organization aims to foster long-term dietary changes with the support of campaigns throughout the year. According to a survey conducted among Veganuary participants, 82% expressed intentions to either adopt a fully vegan lifestyle or substantially reduce animal product consumption post-January. Veganuary’s Choose Chicken-Free Week aims to demonstrate the accessibility of plant-based alternatives to chicken and eggs, addressing the mounting concerns regarding avian flu outbreaks and the sustainability of conventional poultry production.  Coinciding with Respect …

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Belfast endorses global Plant Based Treaty

Councillor Paul Doherty. © Social Democratic and Labour Party

Belfast Becomes First Irish City to Endorse Global Plant Based Treaty

The Northern Irish capital, Belfast, has become the first city in Ireland to endorse calls for a global Plant Based Treaty. The campaign aims to address the impacts of climate change through a shift towards plant-based diets. The motion was brought by Councillor Paul Doherty, who previously helped to make Belfast a Right to Food City as part of a campaign working to end hunger. Doherty told Belfast Live that the council had already made progress in improving access to food through initiatives such as breakfast clubs, and said committing to the Plant Based Treaty was “an important next step”. Now that the motion has successfully passed, Belfast City Council will contact the Northern Ireland Assembly to call for a broader commitment to the treaty …

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VegWeek animal outlook

© Animal Outlook

VegWeek 2024: Alicia Silverstone and Tig Notaro Lead Call for Vegan Action

Animal protection organization Animal Outlook is hosting its 15th annual VegWeek this week, leading up to Earth Day on April 22. The week-long campaign encourages individuals to adopt a vegan diet through the VegPledge, promoting the environmental and health benefits of reducing animal product consumption. Currently, over 70000 people have taken the VegPledge. This initiative is supported by several local governments across the United States, including Washington, DC, and Hawaii, which have issued proclamations recognizing the connection between animal agriculture and climate change. New support has also emerged from cities like Annapolis, MD; Worcester, MA; and Pompano Beach, FL. Director of Outreach and Engagement at Animal Outlook, Jenny Canham, states, “By eating vegan, even if you start for just one week, you are taking action …

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Dutch brands make half of recipes on packaging meat-free

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Seven Dutch Brands Agree to Make 50% of Recipes on Their Packaging Meat-Free

Following campaigning by animal rights group Wakker Dier, seven brands in the Netherlands — Conimex, Fairtrade Original, Jumbo, Knorr, Koh Tai, Patak’s, and Plus — have agreed to make 50% of the suggested recipes on their product packaging meat-free. Another two major brands — Grand’Italia and Lassie — already feature 50% vegetarian or vegan recipes, while Albert Heijn and Maggi have pledged to add plant-based tips to their packaging but not to remove meat from half of recipes. Just one of the brands approached, Honig, said it would not make any changes. After analysing 657 recipes on product packaging, Wakker Dier found that over 80% currently feature meat or fish. The group points out that the Health Council of the Netherlands recommends eating 60% plant-based …

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Semana sin carne

© ProVeg Spain

More Than 32,000 People Join Spain’s Meat-Free Week Semana Sin Carne

On the occasion of World Meatless Day, which is on March 20, ProVeg has announced the seventh edition of Semana Sin Carne (Meat-free Week), a 7-day challenge to encourage the population to adopt a more plant-based diet and give the health of our planet a break. The seven-day challenge will begin next Monday, March 18 and all interested people will be able to live a different plant experience each day of the challenge. Every day you will be provided with a daily menu, exclusive vegan recipes, nutritional tables, comparisons or nutritional advice and support, among many other things. Eating plant-based saves money The organization states that “a more plant-based diet will make you save on the shopping cart,” which, in turn, is in line with …

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Hungry Planet crab cakes

© Hungry Planet

Hungry Planet Among 65 Global Plant-Based Organizations Nominated for Earthshot Prize

Hungry Planet Foods announces that it has officially been nominated for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, a global initiative that seeks to discover, celebrate, and scale innovative solutions that address the planet’s biggest environmental challenges by 2030.  The company creates plant-based meat alternatives, such as beef, chicken, pork, and crab, using ingredients like textured wheat protein, soy protein, and other plant ingredients. Hungry Planet states that its products are now served at thousands of food service venues across the US, including fine dining, fast casual, universities, and hospitals, along with various retail outlets and online via PlantX. Through its philanthropic arm, the company has also helped provide over 1 million meals to school children K-12. The Earthshot Prize, established in 2020 by Prince William and The …

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Vegetarianos Hoy vegan certified

© Vegetarianos Hoy

More Than 50 Companies in LATAM Joined the V-Label Certification Scheme in 2023

Fundación Veg, previously known as Fundación Vegetarianos Hoy, has announced that by the end of 2023, a total of 170 companies and 1,900 products had obtained a V-Label certification in Latin America. Through this program, the foundation encourages companies to include vegan products within sustainability strategies to mitigate the environmental impact of food production. From Mexico to Chile, 164 companies of different brands and product varieties have achieved V-Label certification. In the words of the director of the Veg Foundation, Ignacia Uribe, “Among the companies that have entrusted their certification to the Foundation we have names of multinationals such as Nestlé, Bimbo, Concha y Toro, and Masglo, among others, but we also have local enterprises that even have certified artisanal products, such as the case …

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Veganuary participants

© Veganuary

Veganuary 2024 Supports Over 1.8 Million Participants Worldwide to Try Veganism

With Veganuary 2024 having recently come to a close, the organization has revealed that over 1.8 million people received its support and guidance to try veganism, in the form of emails, videos, social media posts, and podcasts. Many also purchased Veganuary products, such as the charity’s cookbook and Vegan Kit card deck. Veganuary has calculated that the actual number of participants is likely to be even higher than the figures indicate, as many people take part without officially signing up. To gain an estimate of the true number, the organization has commissioned YouGov surveys in its core campaign countries. The results suggest that the total number of participants could be as high as 25 million. Awareness of Veganuary also continues to grow, with 75% of …

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Sandra Hungate of Veganuary US

Sandra Hungate. © Veganuary US

Veganuary US: “We Have Participants in All 50 States, Interest is No Longer Confined to Cities Like New York and LA”

Since starting out in the UK ten years ago, Veganuary has surged in popularity worldwide — particularly in the US, where the campaign is now taking place for the fifth time. The country has the highest number of participants of any nation, and over 400 American businesses took part last year. In 2024, a variety of restaurants are offering Veganuary menus, with new options such as pizzas, salads, and sandwiches. With a significant proportion of participants remaining plant-based for good after taking part in the challenge, Veganuary is driving a meaningful shift in dietary patterns, prompting many food service outlets to continue offering vegan dishes after the month is over. Veganuary US Director Sandra Hungate told us more about this incredible momentum and the highlights …

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amsterdam

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Amsterdam Becomes First EU Capital to Endorse Global Plant Based Treaty

Amsterdam has become the first capital city in the EU to endorse calls for a global Plant Based Treaty, which proposes addressing the impact of the food system on climate change by shifting towards a more plant-based diet. In a statement, the City of Amsterdam Council acknowledged that the food system has “a significant impact on the health of people and animals and contributes to the climate crisis”. It has set out plans to shift the protein ratio in the city’s diet from 40 to 60 percent plant-based by 2030, saying that the municipality “takes responsibility to drive changes in the food system, ensuring that all residents of Amsterdam have access to healthy, fair, sustainable, and affordable food and drinks”. The council has also adopted …

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The Green REV Institute, calls on EU decision-makers to prioritize the well-being of citizens and public health above the interests of the meat industry.

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Plant-Based Labels: The Green REV Institute Urges EU Decision Makers to Prioritize Public Health Over Meat Industry Interests

The Green REV Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on farming, food, and animal welfare, has submitted a document to the Technical Regulations Information System (TRIS) urging EU decision-makers to prioritize the well-being of citizens and public health above the interests of the meat industry. The submission comes in response to Italy’s controversial bills banning animal product names on plant-based meat labels. Through TRIS, the European Commission and member states review draft laws to assess their compliance with EU regulations due to the potential impact of such prohibitions on the region’s market. The right to information and health The Green REV Institute emphasizes that consumers have the right to information and health, as guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The organization argues …

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Vegan Society of Ireland

© Vegan Society of Ireland

Vegetarian Society of Ireland Renamed to Vegan Society of Ireland Following Unanimous Vote

Over 40 years after it was founded, The Vegetarian Society of Ireland has become The Vegan Society of Ireland after members unanimously voted in favour of the change. The organisation, which is a registered charity, said that most members were already vegan and interest had dwindled, indicating that a rebrand was needed. However, vegetarians are still welcome to join, and all members can benefit from a number of discounts. The Vegan Society of Ireland plans to raise awareness of veganism in Ireland by running campaigns and events, along with gaining media exposure. The group already has 50 volunteers, and expects to gain more following the transition. “I’m absolutely delighted that we have finally reached the stage where we are about to launch the Vegan Society …

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Land of Kush

© Land of Kush

Veganuary 2024 Sees Major US Cities Embracing Plant-Based Living

Veganuary, a global movement encouraging people to try vegan in January, has seen remarkable growth in the United States. With the highest number of participants among all of Veganuary’s participating countries and over 400 US businesses participating in 2023, the campaign is gaining substantial momentum. Cities across the nation are embracing this trend, each offering unique highlights and specials to celebrate Veganuary. Baltimore Baltimore set a national precedent by declaring January as the official Veganuary month, a move initiated by the Black Veg Society and Veganuary, supported by DefaultVeg. Mayor Brandon M. Scott emphasized the city’s commitment to “resilient, sustainable, and healthy” communities, urging residents and businesses to explore plant-based options. He proclaimed “the month of January as ‘Veganuary’ in Baltimore, and urges residents, restaurants, …

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