Meat and dairy industries 'threatened' by rise of plant-based alternatives, says SAFE

Animal welfare group SAFE has suggested that New Zealand's meat and dairy industries are threatened by plant-based alternatives, after recent debate over the use of the term "milk".

Australian dairy farmers want their Government to ban plant-based products from using it, saying it gives a misleading the products had a nutritional equivalency with bovine milk.

In a recent interview with Magic Talk's Rural Exchange, New Zealand Federated Farmers Dairy Group Industry spokesperson, Chris Lewis agreed and said plant-producers should tell their own story.

However animal welfare group SAFE said the comments show that rise of the plant-based alternatives was worrying farmers.

SAFE's Eat Kind Programme Coordinator Krysta Neve said the industry was feeling threatened as customers make conscious purchasing decisions.

"Plant-based milk products like soy and almond milk have been around for centuries," she said.

"A recent Horizon Research Poll said Kiwis are eating less meat and dairy products. It also indicated the majority of Kiwis would consider removing meat from their diets entirely," said Neve.

She said the shift had threatened both the meat and dairy industries. 

"They appear to be considering anti-competitive tactics to protect their interests, like what we're seeing in Australia."

Neve said Kiwis were demanding kinder alternatives that combat animal suffering, environmental degradation and preventable diseases. 

"There are so many delicious alternatives on the market now that we are spoiled for choice. Milk alternatives are just a small part of a huge market also offering animal-free meats, cheeses and ice creams among many others."