Food labelling of plant based products has come under fire for potentially perpetuating consumer confusion by using terms such as ‘beef’ or ‘meat’ – even when prefixed with ‘plant based’.
Australian beef farmers explained that there is a certain level of prestige to the terms, and are unhappy with plant based organisations using the words on their packaging as it adds to competition – when in fact they are not equal.
Whilst the link with the labels causing misunderstandings is tenuous, the meat industry appears to be disgruntled with more marketing tactics than just the type of words being used.
It raises questions as to whether we should be viewing meat vs non-meat products as alternatives to each other, or as fully separate foods. However, the farmers’ desire to fully distinguish the two industries, from its packaging to its placement on supermarket shelves, might not be so easy. With one of the UN sustainability development goals centering around sustainable agriculture, it appears that Australian farmers might not succeed in creating a change.