1. General questions

  • What is Vriendly?

    Vriendly is a non-profit association founded in 2015 and based in Hürth near Cologne, Germany. We are the first organisation, which made the Vegan-certification possible for gastronomy-businesses all over Europe. In addition to gastronomy, manufacturers and other businesses in a wide variety of areas can carry out vegan certifications through Vriendly. As Vriendly is a non-profit organisation, we can offer the certification at an affordable price. Our goal is it to promote veganism and increase and constantly improve the transparency for customers.

  • What does the Vriendly Vegan Label symbolize?

    The Vriendly Vegan Label is universally applicable worldwide for labelling vegan dishes in gastronomy or products of any kind.

    The colours of the label stand for sunlight (yellow) and for plants (green). The combination symbolises life and growth. The circle stands for the earth and that everything is connected. The strong "V" is immediately visible and is clearly explained by the lettering "VEGAN". By indicating our website address and the unique certificate number of the product in the label, the user can check the correctness of the manufacturer's information directly on our website. Misuse of the vegan label - as is often the case with other labels - is thus excluded and offers the highest possible transparency.

  • Why is the Vriendly Vegan label so reasonably priced?

    As a non-profit organisation, we have set ourselves the goal of promoting and spreading veganism. We don't need profits and returns, just a small budget for marketing to promote our idea. We have therefore invested massively to keep all processes as lean and cost-effective as possible.
  • Why go vegan?

    The reasons for a vegan lifestyle are many and varied and originate in issues such as sustainability, ethics and health. Veganism has long been more than a short-lived trend. Plant-based nutrition has arrived in the middle of society, which is clearly reflected in the market. In Germany alone, there was a 39% growth in the production of meat substitutes from 2019 to 2020. The global market for plant-based foods is expected to grow by as much as 11.9% by 2027. Veganism has evolved from a niche to a mainstream option in recent years. We stand behind the vegan lifestyle and want to push it forward, for a fairer and more sustainable world for humans and animals.
  • 2. Certification

  • What is a certification?

    A certification takes place through the internal and external verification of defined criteria and quality requirements. If a company meets the criteria required for the certification, this is made visible to the outside world by means of a label. If the criteria are not met after certification, the certificate may be withdrawn.

  • What criteria do I have to fulfil as a company for certification?

    Licensed products and dishes may not contain any animal ingredients, use animal substances in the production process or be tested on animals. The Vriendly Vegan guidelines can be viewed at the following link.

  • How does my company benefit from certification?

    The certification of your business ensures more transparency towards consumers. An increased basis of trust leads to an improved image, which can strengthen customer acquisition. In addition, the information gained about the veganisation of products, dishes etc. can lead to an internal increase in quality and performance. High costs due to errors can be avoided. The use of our label makes it visible to customers that your company values consumer protection and that you meet higher standards.

  • Who can be certified?

    There are no limits to certification! Be it food, gastronomy, clothing, furniture and equipment, cosmetics and hygiene products, cleaning products or cars. Animal ingredients are found in all areas of life and can therefore be avoided everywhere.

  • Is vegetarian certification also possible?

    Vriendly deliberately does not offer certification of vegetarian products. This is because other animal products besides meat and fish are also associated with animal suffering and are not conducive to climate protection. A vegetarian lifestyle is a great step, but Vriendly stands behind holistic animal and climate protection and wants to push the vegan lifestyle further.

  • How long is my certificate valid?

    The Vriendly Vegan label is valid for an unlimited period of time, provided that the ingredients of the products, dishes etc. do not change. If, for example, the packaging design of products changes, this can be updated independently and free of charge in the customer area. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!
  • 3. I would like to get certified - but how?

  • How do I get certified?

    The first step of certification is the digital application process. After Vriendly has finished the examination, a licence certificate as well as a licence label with a unique ID is immediately made available for download in digital form.

  • How long does it take to get my certification?

    If the application documents are correct and complete, licensing usually takes place within 48 hours. The registration process takes 5-10 minutes.

  • How is the file for the CSV upload of the 'Request Label' form structured?

    Caution: Please only create your CSV file yourself if you have the necessary ones knowledge feature. We offer one for regular use pre-made sample file to download. The CSV file says each product in a rowwhose information is provided by a Semicolon separated become: - brand name - product name - category (1 for food, 2 for clothing, 3 for furniture and furnishings, 4 for cosmetics and hygiene, 5 for cleaning agents, 6 for others) - EAN number (n), by comma separated - ISO-3166-Alpha-2 codes of the producing countries, by comma separated - ingredients - product link - contact person
  • How is the file for the CSV upload of the form 'certify business' structured?

    Caution: Please only create your CSV file yourself if you have the necessary ones knowledge feature. We offer one for regular use pre-made sample file to download. The CSV file says each branch on one linewhose information is provided by a Semicolon separated become: - road - house number - postcode - city - country (Abbreviation after ISO-3166-Alpha-2) - website URL - contact person
  • 4. Costs

  • What does a restaurant certification cost?

    The certification for businesses with vegan options costs only €99,- per location.

  • What does a product certification cost?

    The costs for the certification of a product are only €99,- per product model.

  • I do not want to certify a product or a restaurant - what costs will I incur?

    The costs of a certification also amount to €99,- once for businesses in other subject areas (for example a tattoo studio).

  • Are there any follow-up costs?

    No, there are no follow-up costs or annual fees.

  • What does the listing of my business on the Vriendly website cost?

    After the successful certification, Vriendly offers a free listing of your company website with any target URL on vriendly.org which you can change yourself at any time. You can also upload your products with associated photos and general information to our server. This enables consumers to gain information about your products and your company.

  • Are there possibilities of a discount?

    For us, the focus is on ensuring that as many vegan products as possible are available on the market and are traceably certified. Therefore, our price is usually significantly lower than that of other suppliers. Nevertheless, we are happy to offer start-ups the opportunity to certify some products at a lower price in order to support them in entering the market. Please write to us via the contact form.
  • Will I also be charged VAT?

    The calculation of the sales tax (19% of the total) depends on whether your company is headquartered in Germany and / or you have entered a valid VAT ID. You can access this data at any time in your User area to change.
  • 5. Questions from manufacturers

  • Does the vegan certification include product packaging?

    At this stage, the packaging is not part of the certification. However, we point out to the manufacturer in the certification process that we would also like to see the packaging dispensing with animal components. If desired, the manufacturer can therefore have the packaging certified as well. For more information on the production of sustainable and vegan product packaging, please contact us at contact@vriendly.org
  • I have a product in different packaging sizes. Do I have to certify each packaging size individually?

    During the certification process, different packaging sizes can be certified free of charge. A free subsequent registration or change of packaging sizes is also possible.

  • 6. Questions from restaurateurs

  • After certification, how do I indicate that my business offers vegan food?

    After successful completion of the certification, your business will receive a digital certification certificate and the Vriendly Vegan labels & icons for download, which we will also gladly send to you by post. In addition, you will receive door stickers and vegan icon stickers by post for labelling menus or the menu of the day.

  • I offer vegan options as well as animal options. How do I indicate this on my menu?

    Either vegan dishes can be marked by the Vriendly icon stickers or the Vriendly logo is digitally integrated by you.

  • I would like to make vegan offers in the future/convert my offers to vegan, how can Vriendly help me?

    We will be happy to advise you on how to convert your dishes to vegan in terms of content and logistics. In addition, we offer inspiration for dishes through cookbooks and are happy to introduce you to vegan cuisine through further ideas. Please feel free to contact us at any time with questions at contact@vriendly.org

  • 7. Questions from consumers

  • How can I as a consumer understand whether the product is really vegan certified?

    Every product certified by Vriendly vegan contains a unique product ID, which all consumers can use online to check the authenticity and validity of the certification. This method prevents the misuse of the label, which unfortunately occurs very often with other labels.

  • Is the Vriendly Vegan label controlled like other labels?

    The Vriendly Vegan label wants to offer consumers the best possible safety. Therefore, there is a multi-level system of different control bodies. As a certifier, we have the possibility to request products and to check the production at any time. This is done randomly and leads to the immediate withdrawal of the certificate in case of deliberate deception - unlike other labels.

    Through the individual identification codes on products certified by us, we offer the unique possibility for consumers to check the authenticity of the label online. There is also an online reporting system for violations. Before certification, an internal audit of compliance with the standards is carried out. An external audit is also carried out regularly. No other label offers comparable interaction with consumers. You can find more information in our guidelines.

  • What do I do if I get something non-vegan in the restaurant despite the vegan certification by Vriendly?

    In case of any suspicion of a violation of the vegan guidelines, a report can be made via the reporting system. To do so, search for the product with the Vriendly product ID or EAN code on our website and create a report on the product page. We will deal with the allegations immediately.

  • How does Vriendly handle businesses that do not adhere to the vegan guidelines?

    If suspicious cases arise during inspections, they are immediately discussed with the licensee. Errors must be corrected immediately and a new external audit is carried out. In case of serious errors, the certificate will be withdrawn. If there are already products on the market that do not comply with the Vriendly guidelines, a recall will be carried out immediately and both sales outlets and consumers will be informed.

  • Why is the Vriendly label on products that may contain traces of animal ingredients?

    In production facilities, it can happen that both vegan and non-vegan products are produced in one room. The labelling of allergen traces serves as a legal safeguard. The Vriendly Vegan guidelines prescribe a strict separation in the production of animal and vegan products, which is why the vegan certified goods are nevertheless vegan products.