La Fauxmagerie was opened in Brixton last week by sisters Charlotte and Rachel Stevens. Over the weekend, The Telegraph published an article citing Dairy UK, which said it would be taking action against the store for 'misleading' customers by branding its wares 'plant-based cheese'.
Under EU law, dairy-related names including 'milk', 'cheese', and 'butter' can only be used to refer to products derived from dairy - with a few exceptions.
"Dairy UK has a duty to ensure the nutritional and health benefits of real dairy are recognized by and communicated to consumers," a spokesperson for Dairy UK said. "It concerns us that consumers are being misled with the use of dairy terms like cheese by the plant-based sector.
"It is fundamental to protect the consumer from product descriptions which are misleading. In the first instance, we will be contacting La Fauxmagerie to make them aware of the current EU ruling on the protection of dairy terms.
"Like milk, cheese has a host of nutritional benefits and is a source of a number of important nutrients including calcium, protein, vitamin A, phosphorus and vitamin B12."
Now the sisters have opened up about the Dairy UK comments. "We were a little taken back by the article originally released in the Telegraph on Sunday night as we'd not been contacted by Dairy UK or The Telegraph for comment, nor have we been contacted since," Charlotte and Rachel Stevens said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.
"We've been totally blown away by the support from the community both online and offline and agree with our consumers that our use of the term 'plant-based cheese' is not confusing or misleading in any way.
"Interestingly, the word 'cheese' originates from the Proto-Indo-European word 'kwat' which means to ferment or sour; a process which our nut- and soy-based products undergo. We will continue to be open to the public as usual during our regular opening hours and will continue to serve our fantastic customer base by sourcing the best plant-based cheese the UK has to offer.
"We feel that there’s enough room for everyone in the market and we welcome our extended cheese family at Dairy UK to join us at our Brixton store during our opening hours which can be found on our website. We again thank our community for the ongoing support."
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
Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, our weekly newsletter and this website. 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.