Our friends at the national campaign group Animal Aid have just launched their ‘Mark It Vegan’ campaign, which calls on every major UK supermarket chain to clearly label all of their own-brand products that are suitable for vegans.
What a super idea!
At present, only three major food retailers – Sainsbury’s, The Co-op and Marks & Spencer – widely label their own-brand products that contain no animal-derived ingredients. The rest do so either sporadically or not at all, forcing vegan customers to meticulously check the ingredients lists of products to ensure they are suitable.
Says Animal Aid Campaign Manager, Ben Martin:
‘For many years now, vegetarians have benefited from having food that is clearly labelled as being suitable for them. Given the rising popularity of cruelty-free living, we feel that the time has come for vegans to have the same.
Vegans should be able to go into a shop, pick up a product and immediately know whether they should buy it or not.’
And we agree here at VV TV as when marked as vegan it is automatically fine for vegetarians too!
Ben points out that most supermarkets already know which of their products are vegan-friendly, making the move a relatively simple one.
‘Most supermarkets now stock an extensive range of vegan goods and some, including Tesco, Aldi and Waitrose, are able to provide lists of them, so the companies know which products they are. But given that such lists can be dozens of pages long, they’re rather impractical when people are out shopping for groceries.
A small logo, or even just the words “suitable for vegans” printed on the packaging, would be much more helpful and would allow vegan customers to shop with confidence. It’s a simple measure that would have a huge benefit for customers.’
As part of the ‘Mark It Vegan’ campaign, Animal Aid has started an online petition targeting the seven leading supermarket chains that do not consistently label their own-brand vegan products. It has also created campaign postcards for people to sign and send to the director or each company, which can be ordered directly from Animal Aid. The group is also planning a series of social media initiatives to show the level of consumer demand for vegan labeling.
Interest in veganism has risen dramatically in recent years as more people become aware of the benefits of plant-based diets and cruelty-free living. An Ipsos MORI poll, commissioned by the Vegan Society and Vegan Life Magazine earlier this year, revealed that there are now more than half a million vegans in the UK, an increase of more than 350 per cent in a decade. Many people choose to adopt veganism due to concerns about animal suffering in the production of meat, fish, eggs and dairy products, and people are also motivated by the environmental and health benefits of plant-based diets.
- Read more about the ‘Mark It Vegan’ campaign, including a breakdown of how each supermarket performs on vegan labelling, on the Animal Aid website here
- You can view the ‘Mark It Vegan’ online petition here!
- Read more about the Ipsos MORI poll on veganism here!