From 1st October, the use of meaty terms, such as ‘steak’ and ‘sausage’ will be prohibited for use on plant-based protein food. France becomes the first European Union country to impose such a ban. This ban follows on from a ban last week by the South African government.
The plant-based ‘meat alternative’ market has rapidly expanded over recent years, following investment from global agrifood groups hoping to capitalise on the growing trend, but many meat-free alternatives are highly processed with a large number of additives.
The decree states, “It will not be possible to use sector-specific terminology traditionally associated with meat and fish to designate products that do not belong to the animal world and which, in essence, are not comparable.” The French farmers’ unions are concerned that the ban doesn’t go far enough, and as the decree does not cover imports from other EU countries.
French meat industry association Interbev welcomed the new law, “This provision is a first step on French territory, a pioneer in the protection of its names, which should be extended at European level,” it said in a statement.
“[The decree] is an essential step in favour of ensuring the customer receives transparent information, as well as the preservation of our products and know-how.”
Terms like ‘milk’, ‘butter’ and ‘cheese’ are already banned at the European level on products that are not of animal origin.