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Plant-based industry hits back at New Zealand First minister’s Veganism tirade

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New Zealand's first minister Shane Jones said: This notion of Veganism and almond powder are going to replace genuine red meat, genuine dairy milk, needs to be stopped in its tracks.

ALICE NEVILLE: ‘New Zealand’s First minister Shane Jones’ suggestion that plant-based food must be “stopped in its tracks” has been labelled concerning, negligent and anti-competitive by proponents of the burgeoning alternative protein industry… Plant-based food producers ‘stigmatise and demonise’ traditional agriculture, according to Jones, but those working in the new industry say it should be seen as an opportunity, not a threat… In an interview,.. the regional economic development minister said, “This notion of veganism and almond powder or something akin to that is going to replace genuine red meat, genuine dairy milk, it needs to be stopped in its tracks”…

“We should not tolerate, we should not acquiesce for one inch of the political journey with these people who are continuing to stigmatise and demonise our legacy industries, and I don’t care if I sound politically backward saying that,” he continued… The comments follow Jones’ assertion last month that he didn’t want “the politically correct brigade colonising my dietary habits”, made in response to a new climate change resource for schools that suggested eating less meat and dairy could reduce emissions…

Food technology entrepreneur Shama Sukul Lee, whose fast-growing New Zealand plant-based meat alternative company Sunfed expanded into Australia last year and just launched two new products at Meatstock, labelled Jones’ comments “anti-competitive and protectionist rhetoric” that went against what New Zealand stood for. “We should see this as an opportunity, not a threat. New Zealand is known for making quality protein, there is no reason why that cannot extend to alternative proteins,” said Lee…

Tim Ryan, managing director of New Zealand’s first oat milk producer, Otis Oat Milk… said Jones was fuelling the urban/rural divide. “It’s kind of dangerous, I think. As a country we need to come together if we’re to solve these future problems. “It’s concerning for the minister in charge of a purse as large as the PGF [Provincial Growth Fund] to make statements like that”… “New Zealand’s over-indexed in what he referred to as its legacy industries. We need to diversify, we need to stay future-focused and relevant if we’re to survive. The diets of the 1970s could not be further from the diets of tomorrow that we need’. SOURCE…

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