The French Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest court, has just now expressed serious doubt about the legality of the proposed ban of meat-like terminology for plant-based producers in France, and deems it unjustified in terms of providing consumer information. The decree, intended to come into effect in October 2022, has now been suspended.
Vegconomist has seen the document revealing the suspension ruling as signed by the judge last night, 27th July. The French body Protéines France states: “Protéines France, supported in particular by its members ACCRO, HAPPYVORE, LA VIE, NUTRITION & SANTE, OLGA and UMIAMI, has lodged an urgent application for interim relief against Decree No. 2022-947 of 29 June 2022 on the use of certain names to designate foodstuffs containing vegetable proteins”
Recognising the “impossibility”
The release continues: “In his order of 27 July 2022, the interim relief judge of the Council of State recognised the impossibility for operators to comply with the decree on the date of entry into force of the text, i.e. 1 October 2022. Consequently, the Council of State suspended the implementation of the decree.”
Products can continue to be marketed under current names
“Decree no. 2022-947 of 29 June 2022 sets new rules for the naming of plant alternatives and establishes that, as of 1 October 2022, it “will not be possible to use the terminology specific to the sectors traditionally associated with meat and fish to designate products to designate products that do not belong to the animal kingdom’.
“However, many steps are needed to necessary to change the name of a product, such as the development of new names and development of new names and brand worlds; conducting consumer surveys; filing trademarks for protection; and the production of new packaging. A lot of work in normal times the current tight supply of raw materials, especially cardboard and films, and the of raw materials, especially cardboard and plastic film.
“By suspending the decree, the Council of State recognises the impossibility for operators to be able to comply with it by 1 October 2022. As a result, products containing vegetable proteins can continue to be marketed under their current names.
News is welcomed by ProVeg
ProVeg International today welcomes the suspension of the French Decree to ban “meaty” names for plant-based products. “We are delighted to hear that the French Conseil d’Etat has decided to suspend the decree prohibiting names for plant-based products,” Jasmijn de Boo, Vice President of ProVeg International, said.
“Plant-based foods are part of the solution to tackling the climate crisis and any regulation should actively support their sale and marketing not hamper it,” she said.