Following a request from the House of Lords we asked members and supporters, and trademark clients we work with, for views on the proposed EU ban on meat-related terms when describing vegetarian and vegan foods. Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey.
Of the 1,225 members and supporters who completed the survey, 70% had negative or very negative views of the proposal which could see veggie burgers and sausages renamed as ‘discs’ and ‘tubes’.
The House of Lords will be considering all the points raised and we will keep you up-to-date.
Our Chief Executive Lynne Elliot appeared on TV and radio through the day discussing your views. You can hear her on the Jeremy Vine Show.
Below is a transcript of the opening statement given to the House of Lords by Laura Sears from the Vegetarian Society:
I am Laura Sears from the Vegetarian Society. Following a request from this committee we asked our members, supporters and business we work with, what the issues would be for them about this proposal.
1,225 members and supporters completed the survey. 70% of responses had negative or very negative views of the proposal.
From our members and supporters the key findings were:
Current naming convention is clear and easy to understand– For example, people can currently buy chicken, pork or veggie burgers or sausages.
Members and supporters said that these foods are named after shapes rather than ingredients.
This would cause confusion- When people buy these products they look for the terms veggie burger and veggie sausages. Terms such a discs and tubes aren’t associated with food. This proposal would lead to confused shoppers.
We also asked businesses who use our trademark and 30 companies responded. The responses from companies generally reflected the members and supporters views. In addition they made comments about…
The cost implications: Companies will have to change their marketing, branding and packaging, which are all costly and time consuming. Companies said they may prefer to use other terms instead of discs and tubes – which could lead to a situation with multiple terms for similar products – leaving consumers confused.
Companies felt consumers could be put off by the new names: The changes could negatively impact their business, particularly the marketing to new potential customers.
Finally, both groups showed concerns this could be counterproductive to the government’s environmental aims. For example, one company specifically quoted the IPCC report which says eating more plant based food is one of the biggest things we can do for climate change. If this change puts people off eating more vegetarian food (through confusion, dislike of the terms, or any other reason) this could impact negatively on achieving environmental goals.
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