WA Farmers livestock welcomes inquiry into food labelling by the Senate

WA Farmers supports the Australian red meat and livestock industry position for minimum regulated standards that prohibit the use of plant protein descriptors that contain any reference to animal flesh or products made predominately from animal flesh.

Including but not limited to “meat”, “chicken”, “beef”, “goat” and “lamb” and the use of livestock images on plant protein packaging or marketing materials.

WA Farmers’ Livestock President, David Slade, said that manufacturers of plant-based proteins are immoral in masquerading their products alongside the high profile of our naturally-grown livestock products. 

Mr Slade said that is impossible to understand how plant-based proteins, like soy milk and meat-free mince, could ever be ethically labelled to suggest that they carry the same nutritional value or taste as livestock-based products.

He said that consumers are entitled to trust that any product labelled as milk or meat honestly contains the taste and nutritional value of the products Australian farmers are so proud to produce.

In the interests of providing consumers with accurate information about their food, WA Farmers agrees that intellectual property issues in Australia’s export legislation regarding the clear definitions of meat being the product of an animal should be replicated in the domestic market.

This is because the industry invests hundreds of millions of dollars each year to develop and enhance the intellectual property and benefits of red meat in Australia, and it’s important that these investments are protected.

The Inquiry will investigate if terms such as “meat-free mince”, “sausage made with plants” and “vegan bacon” accurately and honestly reflect their name-sake products. 

It will also investigate the economic effects of non-animal protein marketing on Australia’s red meat industry, the legality of using livestock imagery on vegan products, and the health benefits of non-animal protein manufacturing processes.

Contact: livestock@wafarmers.org.au

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