The growth in veganism has led to a growth in dairy free products, such as Soya milk, vegan butter, vegan cheese etc. However, a recent ruling by an EU court has deemed these products as ‘misleading‘ and has stated that designations like milk and cheese can not be legally used for purely plant-based products.
German food company ‘TofuTown’ has been at the heart of the most recent dispute. Products such as their “Soyatoo Tofu Butter” and “Veggie Cheese” are supposedly breaking EU regulation, according to consumer protection group VSW.
The group claims to combat unfair competition and wanted to stop the company from calling soya and tofu products ‘milk’ and ‘cheese’.
Honestly, the whole case is ridiculous. It’s absurd that the EU feels as though it has a need to ensure customers are not misled by something as simple as vegan products.
Vegan products are always clearly of a vegan origin, and anyone with half a brain understands that vegan products have no animal products in.
Even if someone did end up mistakingly purchasing a vegan butter or cheese, it’s a minor issue. I see no reason why EU courts must intervene in such a way, and damage the reputation and success of vegan businesses at the same time.
However, at the same time, it’s not surprising.
The profits that the EU makes through its dairy industry is astonishing, and with the rise of veganism, dairy-free products could be seen as a serious threat.
By ensuring that vegan alternatives cannot legally call themselves milk or cheese, it allows the dairy industry to maintain its strong grasp over the market.
Nevertheless, a name of a product is nothing more. The rise and popularity of veganism isn’t going to be stopped simply because their dairy alternatives now have different names. The dairy industry is going to need to do a lot more than that to stop the vegans.