Kiwi farmers back Aussie call over plant-based 'milk'

A call by Australian dairy farmers to ban plant-based products from using the term "milk" is being backed on this side of the Tasman.

Farming group Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) claims using the term gives a misleading impression that plant-based products had a nutritional equivalency with dairy milk.

It wants review of current legislation and has called on the Australian federal government to look at the issue.

New Zealand Federated Farmers Dairy Group Industry spokesperson, Chris Lewis told Magic Talk's Rural Exchange that consumers deserved better labelling.

He agreed that plant-based products shouldn't be allowed to use the term "milk" and said producers should tell their own story.

Chris Lewis said plant-based producers should tell their own story.
Chris Lewis said plant-based producers should tell their own story. Photo credit: Supplied

"If it's something else, be proud of what you are selling," he said.

He said farmers were proud to label their products, and the plant product industry should do the same.

"I would encourage the ones who want to copy us, to be proud of what you are selling and differentiate in what you are doing," said Lewis.

"Don't copy us, tell your own story and tell it better than what you are."

A 2017 survey by Dairy Australia showed 54 per cent of respondents bought plant-based milk alternatives because they perceived them to be healthier than dairy milk.

Market research firm IBISWorld estimates Australia's plant-based "milk" product industry has grown at an annualised rate of 4.1 percent over the five years to 2018-19, to $165.8AUD million today.

Watch Chris Lewis'  full interview with Rural Exchange.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay and Richard Loe, 6-8am Saturday and Sunday on Magic Talk.

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