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French Meat and Dairy Producers Get Upset Over Vegan Sausages and Cheese

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Vegan Cheese

Vegan sausages, burgers, cheeses - the vegan offers have jumped by 82% in 2016 in French supermarkets. Animal chains call for protective regulation.


These days you can get almost any type of meat or dairy product's vegan version. Almost any dairy or meat products can be imitated by their vegan versionThe vegan trend is no longer the work of some illuminated people who want to lead a healthy and environmentally conscious lifestyle. Vegan supply in France has jumped 82% in supermarkets in 2016, according to Xerfi. While the vegan turnover in France is still modest (nearly 36 million US dollars), forecasts anticipate a 25 percetn jump in sales of VEG Traiteur by 2020 in supermarkets, writes Marie-Josée Cougard in Les Echos.

Nestlé, the world leader, for example recently acquired the California based Sweet Earth Foods on Sept. 7. In fact, it already had a vegetarian offer under the brand Herta. Even more significant, groups specializing in vegan sausages, such as Fleury Michon, have been there for several months.

McDonald's, the king of the hamburger, will launch its "Grand Veggie" in France on October 10 with a certain delay compared to the other European countries. The exact composition of McDonald's "Grand Veggie" is not known. In Italy, the meat was replaced by a pan of courgettes, aubergines and grilled peppers. Now the goal is to make it salivate.

The European Regulation

Everything happens as if nothing could hinder the confusion in the mind of the consumer by the vegetarian product manufacturers. Yet the European Commission has provided a text on the subject calling on the member states to apply sanctions if vegan or vegetarian products are confusing. The aim is to prevent them with their original meat or dairy analogues.

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It's called the Inco Regulation 1169/2011 and here is what it means. "This text prohibits deceiving the consumer about the essential characteristics of food products," says Katia Lentz, a lawyer specializing in European food law at Keller & Heckman. The Court of Justice of Luxembourg issued a judgment to that effect on 14 June in response to a request from the German court in Trier, stating that the designation 'milk' is reserved for milk of animal origin. Just like "cream", "chantilly", "butter", "cheese" or "yogurt." Each Member State shall apply sanctions. "From the injunction to the fine, which can go up to 450 euros per product put on the market," adds Katia Lentz.

Meat Producers Act

Meat producers, confronted with the systematic decline in meat consumption demand more protection for the names in their sector. For example you they demand something to be called milk, only if it's an animal milk, or something to be called meat if it has an animal origin. They encourage the authorities to take the necessary measures to clarify commercial practices and penalize the abuse of the denominations of the meat industry.'

They soften their tone thought, like the president of Inaporc saying they favor dialogue. Their idea is to do things to protect the meat and diary industries.

Meanwhile, new names in vegan products have emerged in France, including "Vromage," "Le Faux-Mage" (false cheese), "La Frawmagerie." In French cheese is fromage. A confusion no doubt.

Also see: Perfectly Decadent Homemade Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe