According to the Eurispes 2020 Report, 6.7% of Italians declare themselves vegetarian and 2.2% vegan. With 8.9% of preferences, therefore, vegetarians and vegans are increasing compared to 2019 and 2018, when this percentage was respectively 7.3% and 7.1%.
A trend line that is no longer driven only by animal rights ethics but also by a greater attention to health, environmental awareness that directs consumers towards new models and lifestyles and the demand for plant-based products called "Plant Based".
Despite the strong relevance and interest currently encountered on the market, the claims "vegetarian" and "vegan" are not regulated and protected by any law, both in the food and non-food sectors. EC Reg. No. 1169/2011, while regulating voluntary information on foods (Article 36), refers to future executive acts the definition of the requirements relating to the suitability of a food for vegetarians or vegans.
Pending the intervention of the legislator, since last March, it is possible to refer to the ISO 23661 standard which finally proposes univocal definitions and technical criteria for foods and food ingredients suitable for vegetarians (including egg-milk, egg and lacto-vegetarians) or vegans for use by the food and beverage industry also globally.
In order to make communication to the consumer clearer and more transparent and offer greater guarantees to the market, both nationally and internationally, Bioagricert has developed a certification scheme dedicated to vegetarian, vegan and plant based products.
An independent control system (compliant with the EN 17065 standard) which aims to identify, enhance and guarantee products intended for vegetarian and vegan consumers.
A certification that can find excellent synergies with organic certification.
The certification is normally applied to agri-food products, feed and pet food as well as gastronomic preparations and/or menus of catering establishments.
The vegetarian and vegan certification can also be extended to Non-Food products (cosmetics and detergents, clothing, footwear, etc.) that meet the requirements set by the specification.
In VEGETARIAN PRODUCTS the use of animal products such as milk, eggs, honey is allowed as long as they are produced in farms that comply with European standards on animal welfare. Organic farms or farms that comply with other voluntary regulations that guarantee more restrictive requirements in this regard are to be preferred.
In VEGAN PRODUCTS, the use of any ingredient, adjuvant or manufacturing aid of animal origin is prohibited throughout the production process. No substance of animal origin can be used even indirectly in the production process, even as an additive, excipient, adjuvant or carry-over.
PLANT BASED PRODUCTS consist mainly of plant ingredients and other natural substances or substances of natural origin but exclusively of vegetable or mineral origin (any component derived from the animal kingdom is excluded).
The collaboration already started in recent years with the VeganOK association continues, thanks to which companies that want to join this brand can also have third party certification (issued by BAC).