Plant-based meat company THIS is calling for guinea pigs to be ‘fined’ after one of the largest farmers unions claimed there should be a ban on ‘meat-related terms’ being used on plant-based products.
Almost every supermarket now has a vegan-friendly section packed to the brim with products such as ‘no-meat balls’ and ‘chick’n’, but the Ulster Farmers Union has expressed belief there should be greater clarity required on plant-based packaging to differentiate it from their meaty inspirations.
As part of this argument, the union has claimed plant-based alternatives should no longer be able to use terms such as chicken, burgers and sausages.
In a bid to ridicule this claim, THIS launched a tongue-in-cheek manifesto on behalf of Ulster Farmers Union outlining a number of ‘rules’ the plant-based company believes to be in keeping with the ban on terms.
They include a fine for guinea pigs for ‘not being pigs’, a decree that ‘spotted dick is a term only to be used by medical professionals’, and the demand that retail company Currys changes its name ‘due to it not being a curry house’.
The catfish species is also being urged to change its name ‘as it does not purr’, while crisps will ‘no longer carry the names of meat on their packaging, for example Roast Beef should become Roasted Bovine Inspired’ to ensure there’s no mix-up for customers.
THIS notes that the EU parliament voted on whether to enforce legislative protections for ‘meat-related terms’ at the end of 2020, but the legislation was not passed and it was determined that the labels are not confusing.
The Guardian reports that following the vote the European Consumer Organization, an umbrella group which encompasses consumers’ associations, commented: ‘Consumers are in no way confused by a soy steak or chickpea-based sausage, so long as it is clearly labelled as vegetarian or vegan. Terms such as ‘burger’ or ‘steak’ on plant-based items simply make it much easier for consumers to know how to integrate these products within a meal.’
Andy Shovel, co-founder of THIS, said it was ‘mind-blowing that the Ulster Farmers Union reckons that UK consumers could pick up a pack of our ‘THIS ISN’T CHICKEN’, and think it was previously feathered and clucking.’
He continued: ‘The massive, massive clue is in the name. Other brands in our category have equally not-at-all-confusing product names, like meat-free sausages’.
The fake manifesto was released as plant-based food continues to see huge growth globally, with the latest market projection expecting it to reach $24.8million by 2030.
THIS has received awards for its range, which includes hyper-realistic chicken, bacon and sausages to allow those who have taken on a vegan diet to enjoy a wider range of dishes and flavours.