France will ban the use of meat names like ‘steak’ and ‘sausage’ for plant-based protein foods from October, according to a newly published decree.
The move makes France the first EU country to impose such a restriction on meat alternatives.
French meat industry association Interbev welcomed the law, which was initially adopted in 2020 but is only this year being implemented.
A spokesperson, cited by Reuters, said: “This provision is a first step on French territory, a pioneer in the protection of its names, which should be extended at European level”.
According to Interbev, the word ‘burger’ will still be allowed as it does not specifically refer to meat.
Published last week, the official 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 regulation only applies to products made in France. As such, farm lobby Fédération Nationale des Syndicats d’Exploitants Agricoles (FNSEA) has criticised the decree for leaving the door open to imports.
Terms like ‘milk,’ ‘butter’ and ‘cheese’ are already banned by the European Union on products that are not of animal origin. Last year, draft legislation that would have imposed further restrictions on the terminology used by the plant-based dairy sector in Europe was dropped by EU bodies.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2023
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