Vegetarian Society defends its trademark after Telegraph attack

Sustain member the Vegetarian Society reassures shoppers after The Telegraph reported traces of animal DNA in a vegan product.

Food and Farming Policy





Follow UKSustain



Vegetarian Society trademarks. Photo credit: The Vegetarian Society

Vegetarian Society trademarks. Photo credit: The Vegetarian Society

The Telegraph has reported traces of pork found in Sainsbury’s vegetarian meat-free ‘meatballs’ which carry the Vegetarian Society Approved trademark. The product is produced in a meat-free factory and Sainsbury’s is carrying out a comprehensive investigation.

In a statement to The Telegraph Lynne Elliot, the chief executive of the Vegetarian Society, said:

"We have stringent criteria that any product must meet in order to display one of our trademarks. We check ingredients and suggest alternatives where necessary, check production processes including possible cross-contamination points, offer advice on best practise, and assess risk. We conduct site visits where needed but, for example, where a facility manufactures exclusively vegetarian products, this would usually be considered unnecessary.

"It is the producers' responsibility to ensure production processes are followed and to reduce as far as possible the chance of human error. In the unlikely event of a mistake happening, we are always happy to work with a producer to help minimise the chance of future occurrences.

"We have found that every company we have ever worked with wants to do their absolute best for their vegetarian or vegan customers and we are proud to work with such an extensive range of companies, big and small."


Join the Food and farming policy email list

Hear all the latest news from the campaign.

Food and Farming Policy: Sustain encourages integration of sustainable food and farming into local, regional and national government policies.


Other Food and Farming Policy news

Show all news

Food and Farming Policy publications

Show all publications



Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.