Labelling of plant-based dairy products: there’s no problem to fix

Guidance restricting the labelling of plant-based dairy is due to be published at Easter

Food awareness organisation, ProVeg UK, has today called on the UK Government to stop the publication of guidance, set to be published at Easter, which would restrict the way plant-based dairy products are labelled.

The guidance, drawn up by a group called the Food Standards & Information Focus Group (FSIFG), seeks to help trading standards officers interpret inherited EU law on the use of dairy names for plant-based products by outlawing terms such as “not milk” and “plant-based alternative”.

“There really is no problem to fix here,” Jasmijn de Boo, Global CEO of ProVeg, said. “We understand that supermarkets are not receiving complaints from consumers about being confused by dairy names for plant-based products so no service is done to the consumer by restricting these terms. Arguably, more confusion may be caused if brands are required to use terms that consumers are unfamiliar with.”

“But there is a considerable disservice to a large and growing industry that will incur costs having to relabel their products,” de Boo added.

The UK is already the second-largest consumer of plant-based alternative proteins in Europe and home to many companies in the sector selling both plant-based dairy and plant-based meat products. The guidance from trading standards risks stifling the opportunities the UK has to drive innovation and growth post-Brexit.

“One of the reasons the UK voted to leave the EU was to free itself up from burdensome regulations like the legacy law that the FSIFG is interpreting. But that law is no longer fit for purpose. We need to be encouraging the plant-based food market where we can, not seeking to restrict it,” de Boo said. 

Whilst the FSIFG claims that the guidance will seek to prevent consumers confusing dairy and plant-based products, multiple studies have shown that consumers are not confused by the current labelling.


Notes to Editors

For media inquiries and interviews, email Peter Rixon at [email protected]

About ProVeg International

ProVeg International is a food awareness organisation with the mission to replace 50% of animal products globally with plant-based and cultivated foods by 2040. Our vision is a world where everyone chooses delicious and healthy food that is good for all humans, animals, and our planet. 

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