As previously reported by vegconomist, the Australian Red Meat Advisory Council recently released its own-funded research on plant-based labelling, claiming a considerable amount of consumers are being misled by vegan products. The Big Meat lobby is now urging the Australian Senate to ban alt meat brands from using words like ‘chicken’ and ‘beef’ on their packaging and the case is currently under review.
“We believe that it is an insult to consumers’ intelligence” – Kjetil Hansen, Deliciou
However, plant-based brands in Australia have now received backing from the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) and Food Standards in Australia, after the national bodies outlined why they believe the current state of labeling is not at all misleading consumers.
A submission from the ACCC explained how it had found no evidence whatsoever of misleading claims by plant-based products, and that alt meats were: “Unlikely to mislead an ordinary consumer.”
The backing has been welcomed from plant-based leaders in Australia, like popular plant-based brand Deliciou – of Shark Tank fame. Kjetil Hansen, Founder and CEO of Deliciou, told vegconomist that: “We hope this senate inquiry sees logic into this issue beyond the cries of the meat industry lobbyists. As a company working with Australian farmers to produce plant-based meat alternatives, we believe that it is an insult to consumers’ intelligence to suggest they are unable to tell the difference despite clear labelling on the products.”
Using its own funded research to back its claims, the Big Meat lobby is seemingly seeking to head off the emerging plant-based business scene in Australia, a country in which Big Meat wields a lot of power – Australia is the second biggest consumer of meat in the world. If the Senate chooses to side with the lobbyists, the consequences could be disastrous as Kjetil Hansen explains: “Should Deliciou have to update our packaging to remove the ‘PLANT BASED CHICKEN/BEEF/PORK’, this would be devastating to our profitability and brand identity costing upwards of $200,000 to rebrand.”
“To make matters worse, rather than making it more clear for consumers, our analysis shows sales of this range would be impacted significantly, potentially 50% or more, due to confusion as customers would not able to clearly identify what animal-based meats they are intended to replace. This would impact our ability to trade in Australia,” he added.