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The Looking-Glass Ethical Clarity Labelling Campaign ...
The NOVA
Key©

Clearer Ethics ... Simple Choice
This is the world's most concise and confusion-free Ethical Clarity Labelling System ... all because of a simple cross.

NOVA Key Ethical Labelling Animation
"Finally, a bridge of honesty and trust can be built between manufacturer and consumer ... without confusion."

"If a manufacturer has got nothing to hide and wants to offer customers clarity I for one would respect that manufacturer using NOVA even if the particular product wasn't suitable for me." (Comment from a NOVA Key supporter)

The "NOVA" Key active label provides a simple and effective answer for everyone:

The "NOVA" Key label for all foods and products is a clear and comprehensive system, which ethically covers all aspects of a product's content and origin.

"N" for natural. Shows whether or not the product contains genetically modified ingredients.

"O" for organic. Shows whether or not the product is free of chemical pesticides, fertilizers or other non-organic materials.

"V" for vegetarian. Shows whether or not the product is vegetarian, It is vegan if the "V" is underlined in light green. NOVA Key Vegan Initialisation

"A" Animal Welfare, Habitat and Ecology. The "A" has three interlinked functions. A clear (uncrossed) "A" indicates that the product and ingredients have not been animal tested. If a clear "A" is underlined in green this indicates the product is rainforest, natural habitat and ecologically friendly (and with jewellery, not newly mined). If the product is animal-based, an uncrossed "A" indicates that welfare standards are approved*. If any of the above conditions are not met then the "A" is crossed.
* Farm animal welfare approvals are not based on external farm standards labelling but instead the undertaking of independant verification by The NOVA Key to establish stress-free treatment and freedom of livestock on organic smallholdings.

All these letters combined create a label called the Key

The "or not" addition is the main appeal for this versatile labelling concept. Simply by marking any of the letters of N.O.V.A with a cross tells the consumer if the product suits their ethical requirements. No more guessing, and no more confusion. This is why the NOVA Key is called an "active" label.

Here's an example
(complete with optional allergy information)

 

Allergy Information: May contain nuts. Gluten Free. Wheat Free. Contains E213 (Calcium benzoate) which may cause allergic reaction

 

The NOVA Key's cross x eliminates the guess work.

"Common-sense prevails … No more standing in the supermarket aisle scrutinising the label" "NOVA is an ingenious non-partisan clarification system" "The NOVA Key is exactly the type of labelling I wish for every time I'm food shopping" ... "The NOVA Key ends all labelling confusion" Read more Voters Comments

Whichever part of the world you live, the NOVA Key Ethical labelling system can only make shopping a far easier, more reassuring and therefore less stressful experience.
Many countries now have labelling systems on food products; some required by law, while others are courtesy of a growing number of independent (partisan) labelling organisations. For example, a food product labelled "Suitable For Vegetarians" or "Organic" somewhere on the package has become a familiar sight for shoppers in the United Kingdom. In fact, countries like the UK are now blinded by labels smothering much of their packaging: fat and nutritional content with numbers and percentages, organic, vegetarian, diet checklists, indecipherable additive lists and so on.
But what if the product doesn't reveal a clue of its ethical status? Are manufacturers betting on the chance that you'll throw caution to the wind and just end up dropping it in your shopping basket in dazed bewilderment? On the other hand, after standing in a supermarket aisle for ten minutes trying to dissect the small print and labeling on just one packet of biscuits, are you reassured to buy the product ... or do you just feel like putting it back on the shelf in a state of confusion?
And the reason for all this frustration is nearly always because the product packaging didn't give a clear indication of the most fundamental things you are likely to want to know - EITHER WAY - and without the fuss.
The NOVA Key is a non-partisan compact ethical label which tells you all the basic information you need to know at a glance. All the letters in the NOVA Key are active and can be crossed if necessary, depending on its ingredients or source. It couldn't be simpler ... and it doesn't just cover food ... It works perfectly on cosmetics, restaurant menus, clothing products and even jewellery.
Whether you are a consumer or a manufacturer or restaurateur, read on to see how the NOVA Key, as a nonpartisan ethical clarity label, benefits everybody.

Styles of NOVA Key

To The NOVA Key Front Page ... Standard label for general food and clothing

Restaurant NOVA Key - colur
Restaurant NOVA Key  - black... Lite labels for restaurants, salons, cosmetics, clothing, fine foods, online shopping item descriptions ... and even items like jewellery.

Vote for it ... or use it

If you are a small manufacturer, store, restaurant or e-tailer who has the initiative to show that you care about your customer's ethical preferences and making your product easily understood, then you could be one of the first to use the NOVA Key right now by visiting the NOVA Key Licensing site.

Consumers can also show your support with a vote and comment to help make it a standard and legal requirement in your country.

To "V" or not to "V" ... that is the confusion

TO V OR NOT TO V

There aren't laws in any country stating that all foods suitable for veggies have to show a "V" label etc. - just as there aren't laws stating that non-vegetarian foods have to display an appropriate label. Labelling trends still vary widely around the world, with the UK, for example, displaying the largest choice of meat and fish-free foods labelled with the "V" sign. But it still causes confusion.
Why?
For example, between a major brand of breakfast cereal and an identical supermarket own brand cereal, one of these products may have a "V" label printed on the box, while the other doesn't. The product without the "V" label might be "identical" to the one with a "V", but the manufacturers simply haven't labelled it, or else it might well contain animal based additives. It's impossible to tell unless all food manufacturers and food outlets are legally obliged to add a "V" label ... and CROSS it or not CROSS it. This is what the active "V" in the NOVA Key is designed to do ... stop the confusion. As mentioned, some manufacturers and supermarkets have addressed half the problem and begun to display "suitable for vegetarians" labelling on their products - some reasonably clear while others are more obscure, since there is no easily recognized universal format. Other manufacturers (and restaurants) ignore the necessity of ethical labelling altogether ... Or in some cases show no consistency with their "V" signs, putting the label on the product or menu only if they remember to.
Worst of all - and whether intentional or not - there are companies, and more commonly restaurants, who occasionally - print "V" labels on products, which actually contain parts of dead animals.
With so many mixed up variables displayed on store shelves or restaurant menus, how can any ethically minded person tell what products ARE or ARE NOT vegetarian, organic, natural or tested on animals?
The "NOVA" Key solves all these problems in one go - simply by the use of a cross on the relevant letter.

What about vegans? ... find out at the useful Q and A's

Food for thought for Consumers and Manufacturers

Consumers are clearly calling out for a single label that contains the answers to the main ethical questions asked before buying a product; a label that indicates, either way, what the product contains or doesn't contain, making things 100% clear. This is exactly what the NOVA Key does.
It's important to remember that the NOVA Key is a unique validation / clarification system. By design, it stops confusion and consolidates a fairer and more transparent relationship between manufacturer and consumer ... the best possible way for manufacturers to build trust with you the customer. Because it works on a nonpartisan principle, to simply provide "yes" or "no", the use of the NOVA Key means that thousands more products can potentially become more transparent for the consumer, whether veggie, organic, natural, animal tested or not.
If and when adopted by your country's government, the NOVA Key would be a legal requirement on all products. But even before that, manufacturers who aren't afraid to provide an honest description of their products and therefore gain customer respect, can apply for a license to use the Key (See Here). Manufacturers using the NOVA Key aren't judging ethics, they are simply informing you the customer about the content of their product. They have no reason to be dishonest. If they do mark their Key incorrectly, a periodically adjusted trust rating will reflect this on the online listing of manufacturers using the NOVA Key. ( See Q and A's) So it's in the interest of the manufacturer to be honest, and that means customers will feel more trusting of manufacturers that use the Key ... whatever their ethical choices might be. It's a win-win situation. Obviously, it will be hoped that manufacturers will find the ethical guidance of the NOVA Key an inspiration to fine-tune their products and become more ecologically friendly. If so, they will be able to remove crosses from their product's NOVA Key in the future. But the important thing in these initial stages is that you, the consumer can buy with confidence, whatever your preferences.
Remember, the crosses applied (or not) on each letter which spells "NOVA" is the important clarifying aspect of NOVA's impending success as a universal key.

You are invited to vote and comment on The NOVA Key - to encourage all manufacturers, governments and countries to make this a compulsory global labelling system on all products.
The NOVA Key invites veggie, animal and environmental groups to join us and to help promote this important project.
This NOVA Key Campaign site also includes views and opinion from key figures in animal welfare and manufacturing.
Vote here for the NOVA Key or please read on for more details.

Manufacturers and suppliers, apply here for a NOVA Key License.

Shopping Ethics

Underneath the façade of trendy product presentation, ethical labelling, in its current non-legislative form, is wide open to double standards. This includes confusion for the consumer between almost identical products, where one - for example - may be vegetarian and the other not - and in some cases false claims as to its suitability for vegetarians. The term "organic" is often loosely applied on products since it's become a money-spinner, and some so-called organic products may contain an excess of additives that certainly aren't organically derived.
It's not only food we are focussing on here ... During a resurgence of fur in fashion, traders are deceiving consumers by labelling fur clothing and items with mythical names to make them sound less like real animals, but which are in fact made slaughtered animals ... in some cases cats and dogs. Cosmetics and animal testing is another minefield of confusion. The application of the NOVA Key will tell consumers the ethical nature of clothing,cosmetic products and even jewellery.
Finally, restaurants, where the application of a "slimline" version of the NOVA Key next to all items will inform the customer straight away for ethical suitability.
The NOVA Key active labelling system covers all these and other variables and can finally clear the confusion that many millions of people with ethical preferences have to contend with every time they go shopping or go out to eat. As one NOVA Key voter says, "NOVA labelling would be beneficial for sales as well as for discerning consumers". This is simply because a balance of trust can be established between consumer and manufacturer, particularly due to the open-source method in which the NOVA Key will work. Find out why at Q and A's
Whether for ethical reasons or personal well-being, a clear labelling key on all products that you either eat, put on your skin or wear should become a universal standard.
At present it's impossible to shop or eat in a restaurant with a clear conscience, as veggies are buying non-labelled foods with the high risk that it contains an animal product - including wines and beers, which don't even carry an ingredients listing (and many of which are not suitable for vegetarians). Because of the lack of compulsory labelling, consumers in general are not given a clear indication as to whether products, like cosmetics, soaps, shampoos and medicines are or are not tested on animals.

For examples on products see the Nova Key Examples Pages

Have a Question?
Here are lots of useful Q and A's

And there's more to read on our investigation pages

SUPER "N-O-V-A" ... to recap

"N" for natural. Shows whether or not the product contains genetically modified ingredients. "O" for organic. Shows whether or not the product is free of chemical pesticides, fertilizers or other non-organic materials.
"V" for vegetarian. Shows whether or not the product is vegetarian, It is vegan if the "V" is underlined in light green.
"A" Animal Welfare, Habitat and Ecology. The "A" has three interlinked functions. A clear (uncrossed) "A" indicates that the product and ingredients have not been animal tested. If a clear "A" is underlined in green this indicates the product is rainforest, natural habitat and ecologically friendly (and with jewellery, not newly mined). If the product is animal-based, an uncrossed "A" indicates that farming welfare standards are approved. If any of the above conditions are not met then the "A" is crossed.

Any of the NOVA letters displayed with crosses through them means the exact opposite.
It's that simple. By displaying either alternative, consumers will know instantly whether the product suits their requirements. No more guessing, and no more confusion.

Have a Question?
Here are lots of useful Q and A's

And there's more to read on our investigation pages

Action for ALL

The non-legislated ethical labels on products, which presently exists can be exploited or ignored by stores, eating establishments and manufactures. It causes more uncertainty and anger amongst an increasing number of ethically conscious shoppers who are not taken in by the trends and hype of random veggie / organic / animal friendly labelling.
There is even the increasing number of general consumers, whose vague aim may be to avoid or regulate their use of unethical products. But without clear labelling, they still end up using them, unaware that they are eating parts of dead animals or rubbing them into their bodies or indirectly causing severe pain to animals used for testing the products.
More about Investigation and Case Studies

This campaign stage of the NOVA Key invites you to sign our electronic petition and support a compulsory universal labelling system ... and we feel the NOVA Key is the right system to fill the void. We need votes not just from vegetarians but from anyone with a moral conscience - and we need millions of them!

SIGN THE PETITION

Mail this Campaign to a Friend

Have a Question?
Here are lots of useful Q and A's

For more choices, use the NOVA Key Campaign Menu top left of this page to explore.

Copyright Information
©2000 onwards Looking-Glass and The Nova Key.
Unauthorized use of the NOVA Key or copying / reproduction of any information on these pages is strictly forbidden and will be subject to prosecution.
If you wish to help promote the NOVA Key Campaign on your website please
contact us with your enquiry.
Manufacturers wishing to apply to use the NOVA Key
click here

What You Can Do In Your Own Time To Help

UNITED KINGDOM and IRELAND site visitors

Due to the current state of labelling practices in the UK, it's worth keeping a vigilant eye open for products with "V" or "O" style labels on them. And if you have doubts about a product's authenticity as being totally meat free or organic etc, then contact the stores management or the producers themselves. Tell us about it as we will keep this site updated with your reports. Leave a comment when you vote.
Vote and add your comments
Investigation and Case Studies
Q and A's
Nova Key Examples on Products

Europe Mainland, USA, Canada, Australia, Asia and New Zealand site visitors

Your observations and information about the labelling situation in your country is vital to our NOVA Key campaign. Tell us your thoughts and findings as we will keep this site updated with your reports.
Vote and add your comments
Investigation and Case Studies
Q and A's
Nova Key Examples on Products

 

 
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