Chinese vegan organisations have awarded their new Vegan Food Standard Certification to ten companies, which are the first in the country to benefit from this domestic certification programme which, according to the China Vegan Society and the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF), aims to standardize vegan claims within the Chinese market, increase transparency and consumer trust for vegan products, and aid in supporting consumers and food producers interested in animal-free options.

The China Vegan Society began developing the China Vegan Food Standard (T/CGDF 00030-2023) in 2021 in collaboration with the CBCGDF Biological and Scientific Ethics Committee, the Beijing Soybean Foods Association, and some plant-based food brands. On 31st March 2023, these organisations hosted an online conference to introduce the first recipients to the certification, and nearly 20,000 viewers watched it.

The companies which received the certification are Veggie Ark, Green Monday, Ecobuyer, Deepure, Yeyo, Seleglu, GENBEN, Su Man Xiang, Liu Wei Zhi Ji, and Shu Jia Niang Food, altogether covering a wide range of plant-based food, from organic farming and vegan restaurants to health foods, alternative protein products, and vegan OEM manufacturers.

Interestingly, this certification is the first to include a subcategory of “Vegan and Pungent Free”, for vegan foods that do not contain garlic, onions, leeks, chives, and asafetida, because up to half of Chinese vegans and vegetarians avoid these ingredients for religious and health reasons.

Ma Yong, CBCGDF Deputy Secretary General, emphasized the historic importance of plant-based diets in China’s traditional culture and their crucial role in supporting China’s sustainable future growth. In the online conference, Tony Yip, China Vegan Society Certification Officer, introduced the China Vegan Food Certification’s first recipients and representatives from each organization introduced their brands.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.