Censoring dairy alternatives: Amendment 171 in the EU – it’s history, impact and lessons with Ronja Bertholdt

We are excited to renew our media partnership with Red to Green for Season 3! 

Red to Green is a Podcast dedicated to providing content on sustainable food innovations, founded and hosted by Marina Schmidt. What sets Red to Green apart from other food tech podcasts is that instead of adopting the more common approach of each episode discussing different topics, they chose a storytelling approach. Indeed, Red to Green grouped their conversations by seasons of about 12 to 14 episodes, each season covering one theme at a time. Organizing the podcast this way allows for a deeper and better understanding of the designated topic and to build up the audience’s knowledge towards the following subjects.

Season 1 encompasses different aspects about cultured meat and cellular agriculture, from introducing it to what it is and why it is revolutionary to hearing the perspectives of investors and consumer adoption.

Season 2 moves towards a conversation surrounding plastic alternatives and sustainable food packaging. We hear from experts and innovators in the field differentiating between different types of sustainable packaging, greenwashing, recycling and much more.

Season 3 is all about understanding how to promote alternative proteins and consumer acceptance.

If you have been following news on the plant-based dairy sector in Europe in the past few months, you have most likely heard about Amendment 171. This amendment was looking to restrict plant-based dairy companies such as Oatly so they would not be able to call their product oat milk, or use words like creamy or anything associated with conventional animal-based dairy. There was even a chance they would not be able to use the same packaging as animal dairy products like the famous milk carton. If you follow Oatly on social media you would have also seen the extensive campaign they created against this amendment that was widely shared, other companies joined in on the effort and a petition was signed by thousands of people. Since this episode was recorded, the amendment was dropped.

Amendment 171

In episode 9, Marina interviewed Ronja Bertholdt, the Head of Public Affairs of the European Vegetarian Union and former Political Outreach Officer for ProVeg International. Ronja explains more about how these amendments work, some of the history behind them and how now with the alternative market growing, which increases concern from the traditional players, there are new opportunities to create amendments. She even gives the example of the meat industry’s concern with the alternative protein market’s growth and how they looked towards the regulations created by the traditional dairy industry as a reference, since the dairy industry has been going through it for longer.

We recommend you to listen to this episode if you were intrigued about the noise the Amendment 171 created, even if you know nothing about these policies, Ronja explains a lot about this theme and it is very interesting!

You can listen to Episode 9 of Season 3 here or on other platforms available on their website.

We are covering all the episodes from season 3. Check them out here.

 

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