V-Label’s Food Heroes 2023 Recognises 20 Pioneers of a Plant-Based, Cruelty-Free World – vegconomist

V-Label’s Food Heroes 2023 Recognises 20 Pioneers of a Plant-Based, Cruelty-Free World – vegconomist

V-Label, the world’s leading vegan and vegetarian trademark, reveals its 2023 Food Heroes, celebrating 20 individuals spanning education, activism, research, technology, politics, and entrepreneurship, all working towards the common goal of transforming outdated food systems and changing the narrative around the possibilities of thriving without harming the planet.

The food heroes recognised in the 2023 awards will be well-known to most of our readers, and are as follows:

  • Tobias Leenaert: Author / Co-founder, Proveg
  • David Yeung: Founder and CEO, Green Monday
  • Ignacia Uribe: Founder, President & CEO, Vegetarianos Hoy
  • Olaoluwa Fashola: Founder & CEO, Casa Vegan
  • Zoltan Toth-Czifra: Founder & CEO, Real Deal Milk
  • Deniz Ficicioglu: Co-founder & Co-CEO, BettaF!sh and Oceanfruit
  • Niccolo Galizzi: Head of Product Development, Revo Foods
  • Priyanka Srinivas: Founder & CEO, The Live Green Co
  • Ghanim Al-Sulaiti Founder & CEO, Enbat Holdings
  • Chef Babette Davis: Co-Founder of Stuff I Eat, Chef, Author, Motivational Speaker
  • Prof. Eva Tornberg: Professor in Food Engineering & Head of R&D, VegofLund AB
  • Ofek Ron: Co-Founder & CEO, Plantish
  • Ahrum Pak: Co-Founder & CEO, WNWN Food Labs
  • Verónica García-Arteaga: Co-Founder, CEO & CTO, Neggst
  • Leah Garcés CEO & President, Mercy for Animals
  • Ed Winters AKA Earthling Ed, Vegan Educator
  • Marc Coloma: Food Activist: Co-Founder & CEO, Heura Foods
  • Anja Hazekamp: Member of the European Parliament and Party for the Animals
  • Vikas Garg: Founder & CEO, abillion
  • Dr Toni Vernelli: International Head of Communications & Marketing, Veganuary
© V-Label

Tobias Leenaert, co-founder of Proveg International, and Dr. Toni Vernelli, International Head of Communications and Marketing of Veganuary, are recognised for driving change through positive inspiration and by providing helpful tools and resources.

Heura’s Marc Coloma “transformed his anger into creating Heura as a vehicle for change.” Leah Garcés, CEO and president of Mercy for Animals, has partnered with some of the largest food companies in the world with a mission to end factory farming, while Chef Babette spreads compassion and love through the wholesome meals in her LA-based restaurant, Stuff I Eat, as well as her inspiring talks. Vikas Garg, founder of abillion, is on a mission to help a billion people save the planet.

Ed Winters – hero for the animals

Says Ed Winters, known as Earthling Ed, a highly prolific vegan speaker, educator and activist: “I’m striving to change the current paradigm that believes in using animals as food resources rather than acknowledging them as sentient beings who deserve protection.” Winters’ work has helped over 30,000 people turn vegan in the last 12 months alone.

Ed Winters
Image: Earthling Ed Official Facebook

“Modern heroes don’t wear capes: they are making milk from potatoes and microbes, chocolate without cocoa, and salmon and tuna without touching as much as a scale on a fish,” says Nikolett Konkoly, Marketing Project Manager at V-Label, referring to Prof. Eva Tornberg of DUG Milk, Zoltan Toth-Czifra of Real Deal Milk, and Ahrum Pak of WNWN Food Labs, who are on the forefront of revolutionizing the dairy and chocolate industries.

In alternative seafood, Ofek Ron of Plantish and Revo Foods’ Niccolo Galizzi are celebrated for their work in 3D-printed salmon, while Deniz Ficicioglu is using seaweed to create tuna through BettaF!sh and Oceanfruit.

plant-based salmon
© Plantish

Verónica García-Arteaga is recognised for her work with Neggst, the startup pioneering the vegan egg that cracks and cooks just like the real thing. Priyanka Srinivas combines the ancestral wisdom of plants with AI to replace animal, synthetic, and extremely processed ingredients with plant-only alternatives, providing tastier, healthier, and more sustainable food solutions under her brand, The Live Green Co.

“If nobody else does it, do it yourself,” is the life motto of Anja Hazekamp, member of the Party of Animals, advocating for animals and sustainability in the European Parliament. Ignacia Uribe R. set out to promote plant-based eating and reduce the suffering of farm animals in Latin America through her NGO, Vegetarianos Hoy, while David Yeung founded Green Monday in Hong Kong to help people go plant-based in Asia and beyond.

Olaoluwa Fashola founded the first vegan food brand in Nigeria, Casa Vegan, while Ghanim Al-Sulaiti opened the first vegan restaurant, Evergreen Organics, in Doha, Qatar, before founding multiple other sustainable and vegan businesses in the region.

To read their full stories, go to 

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