NSW Farmers are calling for clarification of the vocabulary for alternative proteins and they have submitted a motion to the Senate Standing Committee to review the use of meat vocabulary on plant-based products.
Alternative protein products are increasingly in demand in Australia.
NSW Farmers president, James Jackson, says that at the end of the day ‘meat’ means ‘meat’.
Currently, in supermarkets, you can see the word ‘meat’ written on plant-based products or even animal pictures on the packaging.
But NSW Farmers suggests referring more to the flavours, i.e., ‘beef flavoured plant-based burgers’.
NSW Farmers also recommends banning animal images on the packaging that ultimately does not contain any livestock products.
This farmers association goes even further and ask to include a statement certifying that these products are not meat or milk.
However, NSW Farmers makes a point of supporting further research and development into agricultural products including alternative proteins
‘We believe there is room in the marketplace for both animal and plant-based proteins, but there needs to be clear labelling in place’, said Mr Jackson.
This request is part of a desire to integrate alternative protein products into the market and distinguish them from the meat market.
The red meat and livestock industry in 2018-19 contributed to GDP totalling $17.6billion. Therefore, this market is still significant in Australia and deserves to be presented differently from alternative proteins.
The market for alternative protein products currently generates $150 million. This is little compared to the meat market, but according to the NSW Farmers report, 50 per cent of Australians already consume plant-based products.
Therefore, the implementation of this request would be good news for the meat market to differentiate itself from the growing sector. Itt could also be well received by consumers of this new alternative market. Indeed, this would make their shopping easier and the identification of these products more visible.