Plant-based brand name ban: Dairy alternatives in the firing line
EU lawmakers have rejected the so-called ‘veggie burger’ ban but approved further restrictions to dairy alternatives
The European Parliament has rejected the proposed amendment to the regulation that would have prohibited plant-based meat manufacturers from using brand names of animal products – common terms used in the market today include ‘veggie burger’ and plant-based meat. However, lawmakers approved the amendment set to apply further restrictions to the branding of dairy alternatives by prohibiting descriptive terms, such as ‘yoghurt-style’, ‘alternative to cheese,’ or ‘butter substitute’. In Europe, current regulation already bans the use of ‘almond milk’ or ‘vegan cheese’.
International food awareness organisation ProVeg has been at the forefront of a public campaign to reject the ban on plant-based names.
Jasmijn de Boo, vice president of ProVeg International, said: “Although we welcome the European Parliament’s vote against the introduction of naming restrictions on plant-based alternatives to meat, where common sense has prevailed, we deeply regret its vote in favour of far-reaching and entirely unnecessary restrictions on the descriptions of plant-based dairy products.”
For ProVeg, the plant-based dairy restrictions are a blow to the plant-based dairy sector, one of the most innovative and sustainable in the wider European food industry.
“Plant-based dairy businesses could now be saddled with significant financial burdens and practical challenges around renaming, rebranding and remarketing of products and the potential of high legal costs,” the organisation said in a statement.
ProVeg argues the ban is in direct contradiction of the EU’s stated objectives in the European Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy to create healthier and more sustainable food systems. The Farm to Fork Strategy explicitly states the need to empower consumers ‘to choose sustainable food’ and to make ‘it easier to choose healthy and sustainable diets’.
Following the vote today, the proposed regulation is on the agenda of the European Commission and European Council to vote on turning it into law.