Vegan Trademark strengthens service with Food Forensics DNA

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The Vegan Trademark’s certification process is being strengthened by The Vegan Society after collaborating with testing lab Food Forensics.

The Vegan Society has upgraded its Vegan Trademark testing and verification service following a collaboration with Norwich-based testing lab Food Forensics.

The Vegan Trademark team will be working with Food Forensics, a UKAS-accredited lab, to identify and flag animal byproducts as well as any evidence of cross-contamination in food and drink products being tested during the verification process.

The certification, which began in 1990, reached 50,000 product registrations last month, and now it has expanded to 53,000 featuring over 2,000 brands from across the globe.

Read our behind-the-scenes story exploring the Vegan Trademark’s certification process.

Food Forensics uses high-tech solutions and a next-generation sequencing DNA test to spot even the smallest indication of animal products. The Vegan Society says that the new testing system won’t replace the existing one, but will rather help brands and businesses who struggle to get information from their supply chain.

Applicants and currently certified Trademark holders will still need to provide the charity’s verification team with thorough evidence, like technical datasheets and clean-down processes, while also answering very specific questions on their ingredients in order for the product to be certified vegan.

In addition to the more rigorous system, the two parties also have a referral system in place. Vegan Trademark holders will be encouraged to use the Food Forensics DNA test to fill in any gaps, and the lab will be encouraging the companies they work to apply for the charity’s Trademark.

Rick Sanderson, business development director at Food Forensics, said: “We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership as we share so many of the same values as the Vegan Trademark. Food Forensics was founded in 2011 to help protect both consumers and genuine producers and processors from misleading or fraudulent labelling.

“We’re seeing more and more people switching to a vegan lifestyle, which means there’s more demand than ever before for genuine food and drink items that are completely free from animal products, animal testing or at risk from cross-contamination, and that’s where our test comes in.”

Steve Hamon, head of business development at The Vegan Society, added: “Working with Food Forensics will further help us to bolster the support we can provide to our fantastic Trademark holders by having a ‘nominated’ lab ready and waiting to support in any testing needs we or our Trademark holders may have.

“Not only will the test help us when an applicant is struggling to get information from a supplier or manufacturer, but they’re also giving us access to fantastic market research and stats on the food industry that will be of huge value when dealing with brands and businesses in future.”

Anay Mridul
Anay Mridul
Anay is journalism graduate from City, University of London, he was a barista for three years, and never shuts up about coffee. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford Comma. Originally from India, he went vegan in 2020, after attempting (and failing) Veganuary. He believes being environmentally conscious is a basic responsibility, and veganism is the best thing you can do to battle climate change. He gets lost at Whole Foods sometimes.