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GERMANY PUSHES AHEAD VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN DEFINITION

Germany

Jul 30, 2018

In the absence of a European definition on vegan and vegetarian products, the German authorities have been an avid partner for the European and local vegetarian associations in the creation of an official interpretation on what should be understood under the terms “vegetarian” and “vegan”. The EU Food Information to Consumers Regulation (Regulation 1169/2011) mandates the European Commission to provide a clarification on information related to suitability of a food for vegetarians or vegans, but there are no signs of progress at EU level. Instead the German Ministry of Agriculture has taken the initiative to establish a joint committee which is in the process of considering a corresponding definition. On the Ministry’s website an update is provided regarding the progress made so far, the challenges and the expected outcomes. A difficulty identified is the establishment of a concept viable for all different product groups. A draft opinion recommendation had already been presented on last 8 March but was not adopted by the overarching Food Code Commission. A second consultation is expected later this year. For the final adoption the agreement of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is be required.

Press Release (13 June 2018): Sachstandsbericht: Temporärer Fachausschuss für "vegetarische und vegane Lebensmittel" (“Progress Update: Temporary Expert Committee for "Vegetarian and Vegan Foods") – link.

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