The National Farmers Union [NFU] has complained about the use of the word 'milk' to describe plant-based alternatives.
According to the NFU, sometimes these non-dairy alternatives are promoted in a way that does not make it clear that they are not animal secretions.
A 2007 European Union ruling states that certain words - 'milk', 'yoghurt' and 'butter' - can be used only to describe dairy products.
The ruling states: "Dairy analogues or products that are not purely dairy may not be labelled, advertised or presented using protected terms reserved for milk and milk products.
"In addition, there should be no direct or indirect suggestion of dairy connection by ‘non pure’ or imitation products".
This means that in order to avoid misleading consumers, retailers must make it clear that plant-based drinks do not contain any animal secretions.
The NFU claims that retailers categorise beverages, including almond milk alternatives, in a way that could be confusing to consumers. For example, supermarket Sainsbury's lists almond, soya and rice milk in a section called 'dairy-free milk'.
Sainsbury's, Asda and Waitrose were all contacted by The Telegraph newspaper regarding this labelling. All three said they would change their websites.
Chairman of the NFU national dairy board,Michael Oakes, said: "The legal requirement is that if something is called milk it must come from a mammal.
"So in a supermarket, if it isn't milk, it shouldn't be in the 'milk' section - we are talking to retailers about this."
This follows a similar situtaion in the USA. Last year, Congressmen wrote to the Food and Drug Administration to demand that non-dairy milks do not feature the word 'milk' as the dairy industry believes this is 'misleading' to consumers.
Recent statistics have shown the non-dairy milk market is set to grow globally from $8.2 billion in 2014 to $19.5 billion in 2020, with 15.5 per cent growth from 2015-2020.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.Reuse this content
Some of our articles are published as a team, which means the article has been produced by a collection of people rather than one author. If you have any questions regarding what is written above please contact us.
Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.