SCS Plant-Based Certification

A robust program that delivers trust and transparency in product labeling through third-party audits.

What is SCS Plant-Based Certification?

The global demand for plant-based products is experiencing extraordinary growth. The SCS-109 Standard for Plant-Based certification responds to the need for accurate labeling to distinguish plant-based products and help consumers make confident purchasing decisions. Certification to the SCS-109 Standard provides the third-party objectivity for brands to verify that their products do not contain any animal-derived inputs and that products for human and animal consumption are comprised of a minimum of 95% plant-based ingredients. Eligible products include Food, Beverages, CBD and Personal Care products (must be 50% plant-based). The certification’s audit mechanisms, procedures, and quality systems are aligned with our other food labeling certification programs, such as the SCS Gluten-Free, making it possible for companies to reduce audit fatigue and bundle plant-based certification with other product label claims.


Why Choose SCS?

Built on nearly 40 years of expertise in standards development, auditing and certification services, our experts can offer you the needed insight and third-party objectivity to credibly prove your plant-based food claims. In choosing SCS, you can look forward to:

  • Dual-trained auditors and support staff for Non-GMO Project, USDA Organic, Gluten-Free and Plant-Based certifications
  • Fast turnaround time
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Discount on bundled services
  • Process
  • FAQs
  • Benefits
  • Program Documents
  1. Complete Application
    First, fill out the SCS application form to receive a complimentary quote.
  2. Submit Documentation
    Submit required documentation for your products, ingredients, and facilities.    
  3. Desk Audit or Inspection
    SCS technical staff reviews your documentation, evaluates risk of ingredients and facilities, and conducts an audit of the products and facility to ensure full conformance with the standard. When risk is elevated, virtual and onsite inspections are required in lieu of a documentation-based desk audit.  
  4. Report
    SCS produces a report detailing the outcome of the audit. If any nonconformities are identified, SCS can advise on corrective actions. 
  5. Certification
    If your product meets the Standard’s criteria, you are issued a certificate of compliance valid for one year and are permitted to use the “SCS Plant-Based” seal on product packaging in accordance with the SCS Label and Language Guide. SCS can also provide client marketing support.
  6. Renewal
    Annual evaluation and ongoing testing are required to maintain SCS Plant-Based certification status. 

What is plant-based certification?

Plant-based certification ensures that products for human and animal consumption contain no animal-derived inputs anywhere in the supply chain and are comprised of a minimum of 95% plant-based materials.

Who can get plant-based certification?

Manufacturing facilities, Copackers, and brand owners with copacker involvement are all eligible for certification. Certification is geared towards items that have existing animal-derived alternatives in the market (e.g. meat/dairy alternatives, cereals without honey, soup products without animal-based bouillon). Producers of raw or minimally processed products and ingredients (e.g. raw, frozen, freeze dried produce) are not eligible for certification.

Does my facility require an on-site audit?

Onsite inspections are only required for facilities that handle animal-derived inputs in the facility that are not part of an allergen control program. Inspections alternate between virtual and onsite for these facilities, all other facilities only require desk audits.

Is plant-based certification different from vegan certification?

While there are many similarities between vegan and plant-based, there are a few differences. While vegan certification usually applies to anything not derived from animals, plant-based certification focuses on products produced from plants, hence the 95% minimum threshold. Baking soda, while vegan and not derived from animals, would not be eligible for plant-based certification as it is derived from minerals, not from plants.

What is SCS’ role in safe food labeling?

SCS is a certification body that carries out the rigorous audits and assessments required for food and beverage products to be certified under the SCS Plant-Based Certification label. SCS offers a full suite of globally-recognized food and agricultural services under well-known certification labels such as Sustainably Grown®, USDA Organic, Non-GMO Verified, Gluten-Free,  GLOBALG.A.P., SQF, Fair Trade USA, EFI, and more. In addition, we provide training and professional consultation services. SCS is ISO-17065 certified by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB).

  • Instill consumer confidence with a third-party audit of your plant-based, animal-product free claim
  • Provide transparency and confidence to consumers seeking plant-based alternatives
  • Differentiate your brand from your competitors and self-made claims
  • Reduced audit fatigue for companies that bundle SCS Plant-Based Certification with other SCS Standards such as SCS Gluten-Free Certification and the SCS Pesticide Residue Free Certification- as the schemes use similar audit standards, procedures, and quality systems
  • Bundled service discount when combined with other product label claims such as Non-GMO Project, USDA Organic and food safety certifications.
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Azzia Walker