Get Certified

Frequently Asked Questions

There are lots of questions surrounding certification. We have listed the common questions we get most often, but encourage you to contact us if your question isn’t listed. We’re here to help make this process simple.

Didn’t see the answer to your question? We’d love to help.

Why does my AVA Certification logo look different?
Our AVA Certification logos have a new look! Our hope is to have the new AVA certification logos in use on all products by the end of 2023. If your product has the old logo, you will receive the new logo instructions at the time of your renewal. Old logos: alternatetext
Why should I certify my product with the American Vegetarian Association® (AVA)?
The AVA Certification delivers trusted ingredient assurance to consumers. The FDA does not regulate Vegan, Vegetarian, Plant-Based, or Animal-Free product labeling. AVA provides a detailed 3rd party ingredient review to confirm that a product meets Vegan, Vegetarian, Plant-Based, or Animal-Free standards. You can find the AVA logo on a variety of products including food, vitamins, supplements, skincare, and household items. AVA offers multiple certifications to provide you with the flexibility to meet your consumer’s vegetarian needs. We partner with trusted brands like Nordic Naturals, Schreiber Foods, Juice Beauty, and Taco Bell. Our team works with you directly on a simple, straightforward certification process.
How long does Vegetarian/Vegan Certification last?
Your AVA Certification is good for one year. AVA will send you an invoice with the option to renew your product certification pending no formula or ingredient changes.
Why do consumers look for Certified products?
Consumers look for a 3rd party certification to validate that a product meets their desired vegetarian standard. Often products contain ingredients that leave consumers unsure if a product is Vegan, Vegetarian, Plant-Based, or Animal-Free because some ingredients may or may not be sourced from animals. Examples include enzymes and natural flavors. Ingredients can also be processed with animal-sourced ingredients. For example, sugar can be processed with animal bone char. AVA works with brands and manufacturers to ensure any sugar in an AVA Certified product is not processed with animal bone char. AVA provides trusted ingredient assurance for vegetarian consumers.
Is 'Vegan' the same as 'Plant-Based'?
Vegan can be the same as Plant-Based but not always. A Vegan product is free of any animal-sourced ingredients and processing. A Plant-Based product is also free of any animal-sourced ingredients and processing. A Plant-Based product's ingredients are sourced mostly from plants. Check out our Vegan Certification and AVA Plant-Based Certification pages to learn more about AVA's requirements.
How do I get my product AVA Certified?
AVA requires a completed application found on our website. Once we’ve reviewed your application, an AVA team member will connect with you on a quote and list of requirements. The requirements include a full ingredient list, payment, and a sample of your product. To see our AVA Certification product standards please review our AVA Vegan, Vegetarian, Plant-Based, and Animal-Free Certification pages. Connect with us if you still have questions. We’re happy to help!
Does AVA only certify food products?
AVA certifies food, beverages, menu items, vitamins, supplements, skincare, beauty, and household products. Consumers adopting vegetarian lifestyles are looking for certified products across many categories.
How long does it take to certify my product with AVA?
The certification review typically takes 5-7 business days once AVA has received all requirements including your application, full ingredient list, payment, and sample. A member of the AVA team will connect with you directly on questions or additional requests to keep the process moving forward.
What are the Vegan Certification requirements?
Our Vegan Certification requirements can be found here.
What are the Vegetarian Certification requirements?
Our Vegetarian Certification requirements can be found here.
What are the Plant-Based Certification requirements?
Our Plant-Based Certification requirements can be found here.
What are the Animal-Free Certification requirements?
Our Animal-Free Certification requirements can be found here.
Can you certify lab grown meat?
No, as a Vegetarian organization we do not certify any products with meat. We appreciate that lab-grown meat is an alternative to animal agriculture, but we will not be certifying any products with lab-grown meat.
What is the difference between 'Vegan Friendly' and 'Vegan Certified'?
There are no regulatory requirements in the U.S. around Vegan labeling. Anyone can label their product Vegan or Vegan friendly. A Vegan Certified product means that a 3rd party has reviewed a product's ingredients to confirm that it meets Vegan requirements. An AVA Certified product provides added assurance to consumers that a product is Vegan. You can learn more about our AVA Vegan Certification requirements here.
Can you certify products outside the USA as Vegan or Vegetarian?
Yes, we certify products worldwide.
Does getting Vegan/Vegetarian certified mean I can use your logo on my product?
If your product is approved for AVA Certification, you will receive our AVA logos and an AVA Certificate for your product(s). The AVA logos are to be used at your discretion within our logo guidelines around color, sizing, and spacing. The AVA Certification badge may be placed on your product’s label and/or website. You may use the AVA logo on your website or in promotional materials. The AVA certificate may be displayed or reproduced as needed for your business.
Can I use my AVA Certification on other brand or co-pack labels
We do allow an AVA Certification to be used across multiple brand labels when the ingredients and formula are identical. Please work with us to add additional brands to your AVA Certification.
What is your policy on animal testing?
‘No animal testing’ has been an integral part of AVA’s Certification policy since our inception in 1999. Consumers often adopt vegetarian or vegan choices to prevent animal harm and suffering. The Product Owner holding the AVA Certification confirms that they have not conducted or commissioned animal testing on the product or its ingredients. AVA will consider case by case exceptions to the animal testing standard based on meeting the following requirements: 1. Animal testing is not active and has happened at least 5 years prior; 2. Animal testing performed was considered unavoidable due to human safety and/or regulatory requirements; and 3. Product Owner commits to no future animal testing on the product or its ingredients via a signed statement submitted to the American Vegetarian Association.
What is the cost of AVA Certification?
There is a $275 fee to join the American Vegetarian Association®. This includes the certification cost of one product. Additional products are certified at a cost of $100/product. We’re happy to work with you on a customized quote based on your certification needs. Your AVA Certification is good for one year. AVA will send you an invoice with the option to renew your product certification pending no formula or ingredient changes.