Page 14 - Australian Pork Newspapaper
P. 14

Australian Pork Limited chief executive officer Margo Andrae asks for clear concise labelling on all products.
“People need to know what is in these products,
“There’s always going to be a requirement for an
Law to stop plant-based food
products labelled as meat
FALSE labelling and Australian Pork Limited so they have to open the alternative protein that is differentiate between real
marketing by plant-based protein producers have Australian farmers con- cerned.
chief executive officer Margo Andrae said the key issues are truth in labelling and food safety standards, and that processes are in place to reach similar out- comes in Australia.
transparency around how they develop the products.
plant-based,” Ms Andrae said.
meat and manufactured meatless products.
The use of words such as beef, pork, chicken and meat used prominently on vegan food product labels, along with the designa- tions of mince and milk have come into question. The Texas Meat and Imita- tion Food Act in the US is set to become law and could be followed by Aus- tralia introducing similar labelling legislation.
“Don’t call it meat, don’t call it pork or beef or lamb if it’s not.”
“While it is only a small sector, it is a growing sector.
Red Meat Advisory Council chair John McK- illop said: “It is clear the sector has continued a de- liberatestrategytounfairly trade on the reputation of Australia’s meat and live- stock industries.”
The legislation would also apply to lab-grown or cellular meat when it hits the market and could even encompass terms such as ‘burger’ and ‘sausage’.
“So, it’s wonderful to see this progress and at the same time here in Australia we’re actually starting processes to push for the same thing.
Though currently holding less than a 1 percent share in the market, the label- ling of alternative proteins needs to be fair and clear.
“We have been hoping that these companies would step up, but the re- ality is if they keep using terminology that makes people confused, we’re going to have to go down this path.
One objective of the meeting was to ensure the packaging of plant-based protein alternatives was “clear, truthful and accu- rate for Australian con- sumers.”
“The US has been very proactive on dealing with this issue,” Ms Andrae said.
Australian consumers deserve full disclosure as to the contents of a product and its production process.
“If you’re going for a plant-based diet, why is there a push to make it the taste and texture of a meat product that you’re trying to get people to stop eating?”
“I know Texas has been keen to try and find a way to make sure there’s truth in labelling.
“It’s about consumers having a full understanding of what they’re actually eating and knowing what’s in those products and how they’re made,” Ms Andrae said.
The industry had trusted companies producing al- ternative proteins to adjust their marketing on their own.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Manager David Little- proud hosted a roundtable between government and industry stakeholders in September 2020 to discuss the labelling of plant-based products.
“These sectors are in their fledgling stages, so it’s about helping them get these processes right – it’s about fairness and equity across all of the food in- dustry.”
The priority then was “to ensure that the food-label- ling system has integrity so that our food producing, and manufacturing sectors thrive into the future.”
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Other stakeholders in the Australian food industry are also keen to hear if the Texas Meat and Imitation Food Act will be passed.
Though the process was criticised as being biased for traditional food pro- ducers, Minister Little- proud said, “I want all of our agricultural industries to grow and succeed, and for this to happen we need a fair playing field on food labelling.
Recently, Australian Dairy Farmers urged the federal government to pro- hibit the use of the word milk by plant-based prod- ucts such as cashew, al- mond, rice and soy milk and the Cattle Council of Australia wants the word beef kept to products that contain real beef.
“I am sympathetic to concerns from producers of genuine meat and dairy products who are forced to contend with highly crea- tive, and sometimes mis- leading, advertising and labelling of plant-based foods and drinks.”
Cattle Council chief executive officer Travis Tobin said: “It’s illegal to make use of someone else’s trademark and the same should go for highly processed products that try to mimic beef.”
Minister Littleproud was clear that the labelling debate was not attacking ‘fake’ meat and milk.
The council has asked Food Standards Australia New Zealand to investigate the food labelling issue.
“On the contrary, I am confident that the mas- sive demand for protein presents huge opportuni- ties for all food producers, and I remain committed to giving our growers greater opportunities to be part of the globally thriving plant- based industry,” Minister Littleproud said.
A letter sent to the fed- eral government by several peak red meat industry bodies called for the ban of any plant-based product la- belling referring to animal flesh and the use of live- stock images in packaging or marketing material.
The minister added that while there was room for both in the food industry sector, neither could un- fairly trade on the reputa- tion of the other.
The Red Meat Advi- sory Council is adamant changes are needed to
Labelling of plant-based into question.
protein alternatives comes
Page 14 – Australian Pork Newspaper, June 2021
If it’s not meat,
don’t call it meat.

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