The EU Commission’s work programme for 2018 involves drawing up a legally binding definition of the terms “vegan” and “vegetarian” and enshrining it in law by 2020. As early as 2008, uniform rules for veggie labelling were set out in cooperation with the European Vegetarian Union (EVU) and ProVeg (formerly VEBU) and laid down in the Food Information Ordinance (LMIV) as a binding future assignment for the Commission.
The continued inactivity of the European Commission in developing these basic criteria for the meaning of the terms vegan and vegetarian has long been strongly criticised by the interest groups concerned. The demands of many Member States and Members of the European Parliament, as well as interest groups in the food industry, have repeatedly been ignored. For this reason, the EVU, in cooperation with the European Food Industry Federation “FoodDrinkEurope”, has now drawn up its own proposals for possible definitions and submitted them to the Commission.
Via the REFIT platform – a forum advising the Commission on simplifying bureaucratic processes – the DVU finally made a formal submission and called for speedy resolution of this matter. Thanks to the support of REFIT, this topic is now anchored in the 2018 work programme. The first proposals for implementation will be drawn up and submitted to the EU Commission by 2019. ProVeg sees this act as an important symbol for the recognition of vegetarian and vegan interests in EU law.