Plant-based naming and labelling: How draft regulation fits into the Farm to Fork strategy
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The plant-based food market is booming in Europe and predicted to grow further in the coming years. The market is expected to increase to 2.4bn euros in 2025, from 1.5bn euros in 2018.
In the EU, terms like “almond milk” or “vegan cheese” are already prohibited. In 2019, a report by the European Parliament’s AGRI Committee included an amendment that proposes to further restrict the naming of dairy alternatives by prohibiting terms, such as “yoghurt style”, “alternative to cheese” or “butter substitute,” along with legislation that prohibits plant-based foods from ‘imitation or evocation’ of their dairy counterparts. This is in parallel to another amendment which effectively seeks to ban plant-based alternatives to meat from using names like “vegan steak” or “plant-based chicken.” A key question is how these amendments may impact consumers.
There is more than a mere legal issue behind a name, as a name conveys information to consumers. However, some stakeholders argue there is a lack of evidence indicating consumer confusion. According to a recent survey from the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), most consumers do not appear particularly concerned about the naming of ‘veggie burgers’, as long as they are clearly labelled as vegetarian or vegan.
Join this EURACTIV Virtual Conference to discuss naming and labelling regulations around plant-based products. Questions will include:
- How do proposed naming regulations fit in with the Farm to Fork Strategy and its ambitions for a healthy, sustainable food system?
- How to achieve the right balance for consumers, the meat and dairy industry, and plant-based product manufacturers?
- What are the less restrictive options for naming plant-based products?
- What would be the impact on manufacturers of plant-based alternatives to market and sell their products if EU’s current legislation is amended?
- What will be the impact of adopting or rejecting the proposed regulations on the meat and dairy industries, and their plant-based industry peers?
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Francisco Guerreiro MEP, Vice-Chair AGRI Committee, European Parliament
Camille Perrin, Senior Food Policy Officer, Team Leader, BEUC
Santi Aliaga, CEO Zyrcular Foods and controller of the Vall Companys Group
Rogier Smeets, Regional President of Europe, Upfield
Dave Keating, Journalist, EURACTIV
14:00 – 14:05 Welcome
14:05 – 14:20 Opening statements from speakers
14:20 – 15:15 Discussion and Q&A
+32 (0)2 788 36 86
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Consumers group BEUC has weighed in on the debate over the naming of plant-based products, saying that 80% of surveyed consumers had no issue with meat or dairy-like terms being used for alternative products.