The National Farmers’ Federation welcomes the tabling of the Commonwealth Senate Inquiry report into the labelling of alternative protein products.
In its submission to the Inquiry last year, the NFF explained that the language used on some plant-based protein products had the potential to be misleading to customers.
“It is essential that when making their buying decisions, consumers are assured that the labelling of products before them is accurate,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.
“For example, non-meat products must not be permitted to masquerade as meat or non-dairy products as milk.
“The actions of some manufacturers in continuing to incorrectly label protein products is not only potentially misleading to consumers, it was also an insult to the farmers and the extended supply chain.
“It is also concerning that the current use of animal protein language and animal images on plant-based products has the impact of conveying the nutritional equivalence with animal-based products.”
The NFF welcomes the Committee’s recommendation to Government to commit to changes to address misleading and confusing labelling where it exists and for the ACCC to review the display of plant-based products in retail environments including online.
“This is important progress on a worrying problem, that if not addressed now will likely become more widespread and more complex as new products and new marketing claims emerge.
“Importantly, the Committee also recognised the significant potential of Australia’s plant-based food products industry, recommending the Department of Agriculture, Water & the Environment support its ongoing development.
“Australia’s meat and plant industries are at the heart of agriculture’s continued growth and the NFF-led goal for agriculture to be Australia’s next $100 billion industry. Today’s recommendations will serve both industries well into the future.
“The NFF acknowledges the work of the Committee, in particular the leadership of Senator Susan McDonald, and its thorough approach to reviewing the 226 submissions received.
“We look forward to continuing to be consulted and engaged on the process going forward,” Mr Mahar said.