Definitions of vegetarian and vegan (Finland)

In Finland there are no official definitions of “vegetarian” or “vegan”, but there is still a common understanding what is meant by these terms. There are many different variations of “vegetarians”, and therefore the term “vegetarian” in connection with foods means only that there is no meat, but that ingredients can include milk products or eggs. For example, a “vegetarian hamburger” indicates only that there is no meat in the patty, but the hamburger may contain normal cheese and/or mayonnaise. “Vegan” is a more precise term. The term “vegan product” is considered in Finland to indicate that the ingredients of the product do not include anything of animal origin. The view of the Food Authority is that that the possible residues of products of animal origin do not prevent calling a product vegan and that is also the opinion of the Finnish Vegan Association.

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.

Kukka Tommila