Definitions of vegetarian and vegan (Belgium)

There is currently no European or Belgian consensus or legal definition for vegetarian and vegan products. Such a definition should be adopted by the European Commission, on the basis of Article 36(3)(b) of the FIC Regulation, but it is slow in coming. However, pending the adoption of a specific legal framework, any reference to the suitability of a food product for vegetarians and/or vegans should be assessed in light of the general principles on voluntary information of the EU Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers. The industry often refers to existing pri-vate standards (for example: V-label developed by the European Vegetarian Union (EVU) or the standard ISO standard 23662:2021).

This is general information rather than legal advice and is current as of 30 May 2024. We recommend you contact a specialised food lawyer for legal advice for your particular circumstances to support commercial decisions which could impact your product or business.

Jens Karsten