The Australian dairy industry has welcomed the Commonwealth Senate Inquiry report into the labelling of alternative proteins.
Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) Chair Rick Gladigau said the report’s recommendations acknowledged the market failure highlighted by ADIC in its submission to the Inquiry.
“The report recommendations have vindicated the concerns our industry has expressed for years,” he said.
“The false leveraging of the dairy industry has been a long-standing issue.
Plant-based products have misused dairy terms and misrepresented dairy nutrition, to the detriment of our industry.”
He said Australian consumers’ perceptions about dairy products have been affected by the misuse of dairy terms and nutritional information by processed, plant-based alternatives.
“The report’s recommended review of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Code and exemption of named meat, seafood and dairy ‘categories’ – meaning terms like soy milk should not be permitted – is the first step necessary to address those misperceptions,” Mr Gladigau said.
“Another of the report’s recommendations – the development of guidelines to inform labelling and marketing practices for manufacturers of plant-based protein products – is also an initiative that our industry supports.”
Mr Gladigau said the dairy industry was now keen to see bipartisan support for the report’s recommendations, with the development of a mandatory regulatory framework for the labelling of plant-based protein products, in consultation with industry, prioritised.
“We want to see Australia brought into line with the likes of Europe and Canada, which have banned the misuse of dairy terms outright, or the United States which requires the clear distinction between dairy and plant-based products,” Mr Gladigau said.
“Australian consumers should not be misled.
“Labelling and nutritional information should be transparent.
“They should have confidence that what they are putting in their grocery trolley, is what it says it is.”
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