- A Coles magazine guide celebrating plant-based diets has reportedly drawn the ire of an industry group representing rural Australian livestock farmers.
- The organisation is seeking to meet with Coles over its “healthy eating” guide, which called on readers to “Go meat free on more than just Monday.”
- The report comes as Australia’s appetite for plant-based meat alternatives continues to grow.
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A peak industry group representing Australian livestock farmers reportedly wants to meet with Coles management, after the supermarket giant issued a “healthy eating” guide advocating meat-free and plant-based diets.
Farm Online reports farmers have taken issue with the ’31 ways to eat well’ list, published by Coles in its free monthly magazine and online.
The January guide, which Coles says is based on advice from the Heart Foundation, includes pointers like “Go meat free on more than just Monday” and “Eat plant-based.”
“Sometimes we need to find alternatives to dairy and meat-based products,” the guide states.
While the list points to lean beef, chicken, and lamb as nutritious options, AgForce Queensland reportedly wants to meet with Coles management to discuss the guide.
It was “tragic” that Coles advocated for meat-free diets, AgForce Queensland chief executive Michael Guerin told Farm Online, adding that the organisation wants to “sit down and start a conversation with them in good faith”.
Guerin suggested the industry may launch a public-facing campaign in order to “tell our story proudly.”
In a statement provided to the outlet, a Coles representative said the company is committed to a “sustainable future that supports local farmers and food producers.”
The Coles guide, and the disappointed response from some sectors of Australia’s livestock industry, comes during a rapid expansion of meat alternative offerings in the Australian market.
Australian manufacturer v2foods last week introduced a new line of plant-based sausages to Coles, after producing the plant-based burger patty used in Hungry Jack’s’ Rebel Whopper.
Proform Foods last year opened an $11 million manufacturing plant in Sydney, with an eye to manufacture goods for its MEET range of products, while Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes has also invested in mushroom-based foods from Fable. Both MEET and Fable goods are available nationwide.
Research suggests Australians are increasingly hungry for plant-based options, but some analysts say the vegetarian and vegan boom could eventually be an opportunity for local growers.
Until then, at least one industry group wants a say in how the proverbial sausage is made.