Food industry calls on EU for fair treatment of plant-based products
Share article:
Share article:

Food industry calls on EU for fair treatment of plant-based products

Plant-based drinks. Don't mention milk. © Alpro

The European plant-based foods association ENSA, together with alternative milk producer Alpro and 92 other food-industry representatives are calling on the European institutions to reverse recent moves they say will harm the producers of plant-based foods.

The issue specifically concerns plant-based drinks, commonly known as soy milk, oat milk and the like. Commonly, but not commercially.

Already, thanks to intense lobbying from the daily industry, such products are no longer allowed to describe themselves in dairy terms such as milk, yoghurt or cheese. According to the dairy industry, such nomenclature caused confusion in the minds of customers by intentionally allowing one type of product to masquerade as another.

To confuse matters still further, the European parliament has since then decided that it is perfectly acceptable for plant-based products to use names like ‘sausage’ or ‘hamburger’.

Now the net is to tighten even further around the plant-based drink makers. Next month the passage of a new set of proposed regulations into law.

This time, any comparison at all with milk will be outlawed, making it impossible to describe a product as ‘alternative to yoghurt,’ ‘contains no milk’ and even ‘creamy’. In other words, to prevent confusion with milk products, plant-based products will not even be allowed to say they are not milk products.

And it goes further. According to the notorious Amendment 171, the makers of plant-based drinks could be prevented by law from using the familiar cartons which are used to package milk, but also for soup, stock, fruit juices and other liquids.

It remains to be seen whether Amendment 171 will make it into the final regulation, but it is already being seen as a triumph of audacious lobbying – as if InBev were to declare that Coco-Cola’s use of aluminium cans was hurting beer sales.

For Alpro and their supporters in the plant-based foods sector, the importance of plant=-based food is too great to be harmed by such restrictions.

Our mission is to promote more flexitarian diets,” said Sue Garfitt, general manager of Alpro and president of the European Plant-based Foods Association.

We want to offer consumers more and more choice, variety and taste. I am convinced that policymakers are also starting to see the importance of shifting the food system in a more sustainable direction, where we work with nature instead of against it.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Limiting private contacts ‘needed to fight autumn wave’, expert warns
The Consultative Committee announced it is introducing a handful of measures in public spaces to control the quickening spread of the coronavirus, ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
UN issues strong warning ahead of climate change summit in Glasgow
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...
Belgium’s decision on possible third shot postponed until Saturday
The decision on how Belgium will proceed with the roll-out of third shots of the coronavirus vaccine has been postponed until Saturday.  The news ...
Experts and politicians respond to new coronavirus measures
The handful of measures (re-)introduced by Belgium's Consultative Committee on Tuesday in response to the worsening coronavirus situation have had a ...
New fraudulent e-mails circulating in Belgium
A warning has been put out about new phishing e-mails that have been circulating since last Saturday and are sent from what could appear to be an ...