Fry's wins plant based labelling appeal

By Food Focus on 30 August 2023

It has been more than a year since the food industry was rocked by the announcement by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) banning the use of product names commonly used for processed meat products being used for plant-based products.

DALRRD's announcement on the 22 June 2022 advised:

Meat analogues (ie plant-based meat alternatives) must not use the product names prescribed and reserved for processed meat products since the scope of R1283 REGULATIONS REGARDING THE CLASSIFICATION, PACKING AND MARKING OF CERTAIN PROCESSED MEAT PRODUCTS does not include meat analogues.

The assignee designated for inspection of processed meat products is permitted to seize any meat analogue products using the product names reserved for processed meat products.

The plant-based sector was in an uproar over the decision, facing the prospect of seizures, and the demand for relabelling and rebranding of "meat-analogue" products. The potential economic impact of a ruling like this was significant, and the lack of specific product regulations for this category meant there were more questions than answers.

However, plant-based food brand, Fry Family Foods, has just announced that they have won their appeal against the Food Safety Agency (FSA) and the Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF).  Fry’s lodged the appeal last year in objection to a direction issued by the FSA on 5th July 2022 that declared the naming and labelling of six of Fry’s products in contravention of Regulation R.1283 (Processed Meat Regulations). 


The Appeal Board ruled on Friday 25 August 2023 that:

1. Fry’s appeal be upheld.

2. The direction issued by the FSA on 05 July 2022 be set aside.

3. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries be directed to develop regulations specifically for meat analogue products.


“This victory for Fry’s is a substantial one for the plant-based food industry and will play a critical role in helping the relevant stakeholders move forward with discussions that will hopefully lead to the development of regulations specifically aimed at meat analogue products,” says Tammy Fry co-founder of Fry’s and plant-based food advocate.

Rogan Moore, MD for LIVEKINDLY Collective Africa who produce, market and distribute Fry’s in South Africa says, “This labelling debate is indicative of the important role plant-based foods will play in the food systems of the future. The growth of the category is inevitable. This is why it is crucial for discussion to be opened between government, advocacy groups, brands and retailers – we must create a set of regulations that are specific to plant-based meat products to protect all stakeholders as the category moves from niche to mainstream.”

This win follows on from the recent success of the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa in the Johannesburg High Court. The CGCSA was able to successfully move their interdict against the FSA from interim to final, preventing the FSA from seizing meat analogue products, pending a review of their process.

“Both legal rulings show a real need for meat analogues to have their own regulations. After Friday’s ruling we are feeling very optimistic that there is the potential for constructive dialogue with relevant parties soon,” adds Moore.



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