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Bruce Friedrich: Activists should embrace allies in the move to plant-based meats

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What is the alternative? Not leveraging Nestle’s and Tyson’s economies of scale, global supply chains, marketing expertise, and billions-strong consumer bases for plant-based meat? That seems exceedingly unwise if we want plant-based meat to succeed.

BRUCE FRIEDRICH: ‘At a conference on food sustainability in San Francisco recently, I was talking about my excitement at the move of Tyson Foods into the plant-based market. Almost immediately, a representative of an environmental group really laid into me, pointing out the wild profits that Tyson will be making from their move into the plant-based territory. The discourse is harsher online: “Nestle has profited off of stolen water, done irreparable damage with its global anti-breastfeeding campaign, and continues to unnecessarily test on animals…PASS”…

Activists should take a pragmatic approach and be willing to work with ‘big food’ in order to support an increase in consumption of plant-based options… Tyson and Nestlé have accomplished the seemingly impossible: They have united environmental and animal activists with cattlemen. Tyson Foods, by far the largest meat company in the United States, recently announced plans for its own line of plant-based meat. This followed news from Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, who will soon launch a “bleeding” plant-based burger, joining Silicon Valley darlings Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat…

What is the alternative? Not leveraging Nestle’s and Tyson’s economies of scale, global supply chains, marketing expertise, and billions-strong consumer bases for plant-based meat? That seems exceedingly unwise if we want plant-based meat to succeed. A growing number of us recognize that raising and slaughtering animals causes a variety of harms, from climate change and food insecurity to antibiotic resistance and the mistreatment of animals. Setting up a powerful corporation like Tyson as an enemy, when they are willing to be an ally, simply makes no sense to me… With their involvement, billions more people could have access to plant-based products that hit the trifecta of taste, price, and convenience. The stakes are too high not to try.’ SOURCE…

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