Why no Vegan Certification?

Just wondering about something after the (rather spirited) debate surrounding the V3.0 inclusion of Kelp. The Huel guys have been pretty adamant that Huel continues to be vegan-friendly, and that they are following the advice that is published on the Vegan Society’s website.

However, there has been no talk of doing any more to appease the vegans in our midst. Given that some are still expressing concern about the harvesting and use of Kelp, is there any reason why Huel as a company has not actively sought out or announced to seek out the Vegan Certifcation?

https://www.vegansociety.com/vegan-trademark

This would surely be of massive reassurance to vegans who use the products, rather than relying on hearsay that Huel is in fact vegan friendly. It would also be of benefit to those vegans coming from Veganuary, looking for a complete meal which benefits them in terms of certain nutritional requirements that we must be careful of (which is why I chose Huel in the first place).

2 Likes

We do, kind of. v2.3 is certified and v3.0 is going through the process. Just waiting on info from different suppliers but it’s a long and painful process. From what I’ve seen the trademark is largely just a tick in a box as opposed to a rigorous check, so I wouldn’t rely on this too heavily - Huel is vegan with or without the trademark.

5 Likes

Thanks for the reply - glad the 3.0 is going through, but the product packaging on my 2.3 makes no mention of the trademark, which is often a major point of reassurance for us vegans. I know it seems like a ‘tick box’ for some, but for me and others it’s a comfort to know it’s been through a process, and can buy without having to have a degree in studying ingredients!

1 Like

The vegan society trademark is wank. They give it to dodgy multinationals who release one plant-based product despite building their businesses on animal torture/abuse/murder. I cancelled my VS subscription when they gave it to Colgate Palmolive and Unilever. That was the final straw.

8 Likes

I was just about to ask if it was wank. :+1:

7 Likes

Wish you would tell us how you really feel?! :rofl::rofl:

1 Like

They give it to dodgy multinationals who release one plant-based product despite building their businesses on animal torture/abuse/murder.

Ever since its inception in the early 90s, the trademark has applied to individual products - not companies or product ranges.

I have no problem with that. Requiring the whole company to be certified would be very impractical, and the certification would fast become irrelevant.

I agree, but my gripe is that the big companies that don’t have an ethical stance can basically hoodwink the consumer into thinking they are right on because they have a lovely vegan sunflower on the packaging. These are companies who just want a slice of the vegan ££.

2 Likes

I’m not sure I can accept that, personally. Most of the vegans I know are vegan because they are passionate about animal welfare. With companies like the big companies mentioned, what’s the point in eating a vegan product made by a company that harms animals in its other products? Your decision to eat vegan is rendered pointless by continuing to support a company that causes harm.

I find this Huel and kelp and veganism debacle a little tiring, simply because the issue being raised is that potentially the tiny amounts of kelp may POTENTIALLY cause harm on a microscopic level. But pretty much every single product you purchase from a supermarket or website is going to be causing harm to other living organisms, even if its labelled vegan. It’s there in the plastic, the oils used, the transport, the very act of industrial manufacturing.

Unless you’re living as the kind of vegan who only eats produce they grow or produce grown on neighbouring farms, the kelp/vegan/Huel thing is weak.

5 Likes

That’s getting a bit on the moralistic side though surely, and would that include avoiding things like fake bacon, vegan sausages, impossible burgers etc etc because they follow the narrative that meat products are great? (Or any restaurant that serves meat as well as veg?)

The thing with kelp… For me it’s that much of kelp harvesting absolutely devastates the local ecosystem. It’s not like the odd big being on an apple when it’s picked, it’s serious aquatic harm. Huel may have an awesome supplier but I’ve read very little that’s positive about wild farmed kelp.

And the new need for “might contain fish” on the label. I’m seeing so many people looking for answers on what that means to Huel’s vegan status, it’s really throwing people.

I strongly disagree with this. Just think about it for longer than five seconds. An alternative was developed at great expense, to avoid killing.

John’s position makes a lot more sense. Giving vegan certification to Unilever is like giving Rapist Bob a knighthood for giving up rape on Wednesdays.

6 Likes

He could join Sir Rolf, Sir Jimmy, Sir Stuart, Sir Cyril…

2 Likes

I think Huel is on the right lines; they are trying to release a vegan product and it is not one of a line of non-vegan items. They do mis-step now and again, and this may be one of them, but they were trying to conquer a new market and kelp seemed to be the best way.

Yeah knighthoods are wank too.

2 Likes

They are a Royal equivalent of vegan certs.

1 Like

It’d be interesting to find out more about Huel’s suppliers and their practices. All of the ingredients are potentially harvested in unsustainable ways. You’re right that kelp stands out as probably unsustainable. I wonder how much they use. Very little makes it into the end product, but they might discard a lot of raw material during processing.

I’ve been reading through some previous threads on kelp and came across this one

2 Likes

Good searching, Ian!

I wonder if this is wank.

2 Likes

@David I don’t know, better ask @DanOfficialHuel or @TimOfficialHuel if it’s wank. Any updates Dan or Tim please? I think many of us would like to know more about the sustainability of the kelp harvesting.

Surely kelp is farmed for mass production in the same way as fruit tband veg? Presumably farming it makes it a sustainable process?