This report consists of six chapters. The introductory chapter provides a summary of existing definitions of meat and other animal products in Australian legislation. This chapter proceeds to outline Australia’s food regulatory system and Australian Consumer Law.
Chapter 2 considers evidence about consumers’ understanding of plant-based proteins. The chapter seeks to determine whether consumers are confused by current labelling practices across the plant-based protein sector and the potential impact on the traditional protein market. This chapter also considers the cultured meat industry.
Chapter 3 considers in more detail the regulatory framework that governs the plant-based protein sector. Specifically, the chapter looks at the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Code (FSANZ Code, the Code) in more detail, the Code’s application on plant-based products and the types of descriptors that are used by the sector.
Chapter 4 explores the proposed voluntary and mandatory pathways forward under Australian Consumer Law.
Chapter 5 looks at the opportunities presented by Australia’s protein sector, consisting of both traditional and plant-based protein products, to meet global demand. This chapter also considers the levies paid by the traditional protein sector, and potential adverse economic impacts resulting from the misappropriation of meat terminology by the plant-based protein sector.
Chapter 6 considers matters related to the nutritional qualities of plant-based proteins and traditional protein products. This chapter reviews stakeholders’ concerns about claims made by the plant-based sector about its products’ nutritional value. Further, the assumptions made by consumers about those products’ nutritional equivalency to traditional meat and dairy products. This chapter also considers the environmental and animal welfare statements made by manufacturers of plant-based proteins about the traditional protein sector.