Get Certified

Certifying your Ingredients with the Recognized Standard

We believe in vegetarian-minded consumers making informed choices.

Our Mission

We celebrate vegetarian choices and the people that make them. Choosing the right product can be deeply personal. We provide multiple certifications to support all vegetarian choices for consumer goods. Our goal is for vegetarian-minded people to have confidence in the quality of products they select and trust in the manufacturers’ claims.

We stand alone as the only Vegetarian Certification provider in the U.S.

Our History

AVA was founded in 1999 by Len Torine. With no rulings or directions by the FDA on Vegan, Vegetarian or Plant-Based labeling, there was an opportunity to certify products. Over the past 20 years, AVA has certified products from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies representing categories that include food, beauty, supplements, and household products. AVA has worked with Taco Bell, Nordic Naturals, Nuun, Smartypants, Starbucks, Clorox, and Danone. AVA has grown with the primary objective of providing a widely recognized Certification Program that will enable vegetarian-minded people to make accurate food choices. 

Today, there is an immense growth of Vegan, Vegetarian, Plant-Based, and Animal-Free products. We offer multiple Certifications for products. We work to give consumers accurate information so they can make the choices that are right for them.

Meet the People Behind AVA

Len Torine

Founder & Advisor

Len founded AVA in 1999 with the mission of promoting vegetarian ideas and products. The widely recognized AVA Certification Program enables vegetarian-minded people to make accurate food choices.

Len has an extensive background in the food and restaurant industry. He was raised in his father’s grocery and produce market in Newark, NJ. He went on to create, own, and operate several natural food and health conscience restaurants throughout his career. 

His book, Light Cuisine sold almost 1 million copies. Len co-founded VeggieLand, a strictly vegetarian manufacturer in Parsippany, NJ, that created products for some of the largest retailers in the U.S.

Today Len enjoys boating with his family, and loves cooking at home. 

Julie Kral

Executive Director

Julie believes in labeling products, not people. She celebrates all vegetarian choices and embraces the journey to making them. With a background in product development and sourcing, Julie understands how important it is for a brand to clearly and effectively communicate a product’s attributes to consumers.The AVA Certification Program allows consumers to make the right vegetarian choices for them. 

Julie lives in Minneapolis with her husband, two daughters, and golden retriever named Lily. The entire family (even Lily) practice a vegetarian lifestyle and eat a plant-based diet. In her free time, Julie spends time golfing, traveling, and trying new vegan restaurants. 

Laura Hann

Certification Manager​

As AVA’s chief label reader, Laura combines her passion for health and wellness with her curiosity to understand what exactly is in each AVA Certified product.

Laura has a background in retail planning and product sourcing. She also understands from personal experience how time-consuming and tedious reading labels can be. She has navigated a diet free of dairy for her daughter. She is eager to share with others an AVA Vegan or Plant-Based Certification ensures there is no dairy in a product.

You can find Laura at her local Farmer’s Market or co-op. Laura also enjoys yoga, reading, and spending time with her husband and two kids. 

K.C. Weiss

Membership Director

With a background in Retail Merchandising and Brand Management, K.C. understands how important simple processes, clear standards, and excellent customer service are to consumers and brands.

K.C. is also passionate about finding healthier alternatives to all our daily conveniences. Through this journey, she believes that certified products build with consumers and make trips to the store so much easier. This is one of the many reasons she is excited to be part of AVA.

You can find K.C. enjoying the beach with her husband, out walking their crazy but loveable labradoodle, or tackling a home project. 

Trusted by Major Brands

We’re here to help. If you have any questions regarding Certification or process, please don’t hesitate to reach out.