News & Media
In today’s House Agriculture Committee hearing on dairy issues, Michael Dykes, CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association told Congress that he thinks the labeling issue contained in the Dairy Pride bill is “probably best resolved in the marketplace.” This was in response to questions from Representative Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) who said he was “mystified” by the bill, as current labeling makes it clear what consumers are buying, whether it’s cow’s milk or soymilk or almondmilk. Below is the entire exchange.
“We thank Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) for his leadership at the hearing today. We are thrilled to learn that the CEO of the association representing a majority of the dairy industry agrees that this matter is best resolved in the marketplace,” said Michele Simon, executive director of the Plant Based Foods Association. “We look forward to the rest of the dairy industry coming to the same logical conclusion,” she added.
Since our launch at Natural Products Expo West 2016, we have been amplifying our collective voice for our member companies. Our return to Natural Products Expo West in 2017 marked our one-year anniversary and gave us the opportunity to look back on our successes and spend some quality time with our members.
Former Mars, Inc. Lobbyist Shannon Campagna of Alston & Bird Tapped to Represent the Growing $5 Billion Plant Based Food Sector on Labeling, Dietary Guidelines
New Retailer Sales Data Released by the Plant Based Foods Association Shows Cheese Alternatives Experiencing the Highest Growth at Almost 19 Percent Over Past Year
Today, the Plant Based Foods Association released new data from SPINS, the leading retail sales data company for the natural and specialty products industry, that shows the total market for the plant-based sector (excluding data from Whole Foods Market) tops $5 billion in sales. Read the rest of our press release at PR Web.
This week our staff and many of our members are heading to Anaheim for the Natural Products Expo West where we will be proudly handing out printed copies of our First Year Accomplishments. We officially launched at last year’s event, so we will be celebrating our first anniversary there as well. Highlights from our very successful year one include:
- Our current membership includes 75 wonderful company members and 50 affiliates
- Our media coverage topped 150 hits, reaching an estimated 82 million in circulation
- We released an analysis showed that our industry contributes $13.7 billion annually to the U.S. economy
- We enjoyed initial visits with members of Congress and the Food and Drug Administration
- We exceeded our financial goals thanks to generous sponsors, in addition to membership dues.
The report also includes several member testimonials. Here’s to an even more successful 2017. You can download your copy of the report here.
The Dairy Pride Act, its original aim to harm the plant-based foods industry, has now generated quite a bit of positive press for the Plant Based Foods Association and our members. (See our press release about our formal response.) Be sure to check back as we continue to update the long list of news outlets that are highlighting our viewpoint and that of our members.
Stories Covering Both Plant Based Foods Association and Our Members
Got Almond Milk? Dairy Farms Protest Milk Label on Nondairy Drinks, by Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times. (Miyoko’s Kitchen)
The surprisingly heated political battle raging over the word ‘milk,’ by Caitlin Dewey of Washington Post. (Daiya Foods)
Big Milk sours on nondairy items, by Caitlin Dewey of Washington Post in Chicago Tribune. (Daiya Foods)
Nut, dairy industries in a froth over ‘milk’ label, by Tara Duggan of San Francisco Chronicle. (Daiya Foods, Coconut Cloud, Miyoko’s Kitchen, and Califia Farms)
Mayo, wings, butter: ‘Fake milk’ is the latest food fight, by Candice Choi of Associated Press. (Tofurky)
Will the plant-based ‘milk’ debate prompt a wider probe of federal standards of identity? by Elaine Watson of Food Navigator. (Good Karma Foods)
Trade Association Issues Letter to Food and Drug Administration Maintaining that Plant-Based Milks are Currently Properly Labeled
San Francisco, CA, February 02, 2017
Today, the Plant Based Foods Association sent letters to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defending the growing sector from recent unfounded attacks on the plant-based foods industry and plant-based milks in particular.
The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) represents leading companies that produce and market a wide array of plant-based foods and beverages sold across the United States and globally. The plant-based foods industry has been valued at $4.9 billion by the data monitoring firm SPINS.
In its letter to the FDA, the trade association maintains that plant-based milks are currently properly labeled with their “common or usual name” and that courts have agreed with this position. According to a survey by Nutrition Business Journal, 34 percent of consumers prefer plant-based milks over their dairy counterparts.
“Our members are proud to offer a wide array of innovative and sustainable food options that consumers are seeking out for many reasons. We reject these attacks by the dairy industry and look forward to a more constructive conversation that ensures consumers are able to access the delicious plant-based options they desire”, said Michele Simon, executive director of the Plant Based Foods Association.
In December of 2016, 32 members of Congress sent a letter to FDA requesting that the agency not allow plant-based brands to use the word “milk” on their labels. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) have recently introduced companion bills in the Senate and House, respectively, called the DAIRY PRIDE Act, which would not allow plant-based food companies to use any dairy terms on their labels. In addition, Senator Baldwin sent a letter to the President’s office on this issue on January 31, 2017.
In addition to issuing a response letter to the FDA, PBFA sent letters to the legislative offices of Senator Baldwin and Representative Welch. The letters explain that the PBFA is actively engaged with FDA, experts, and companies regarding how best to standardize labeling terminology for many popular plant-based foods.
Do you have a passion for healthy and sustainable eating? Love working for a start-up organization? The Plant Based Foods Association needs your talent to help us grow our young trade group. Launched in March 2016 (covered by The New York Times), we already have 65 company members including many of the nation’s leading brands. Our mission is to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace for businesses selling plant-based foods intended to replace animal products. (Check out our website.)
We are seeking a talented self-starter who can build on our early momentum and support our growing community of passionate business leaders. You can help us by:
- Supporting our important programs in retailer outreach and policy change
- Maintaining our database of members, donors, and other supporters (experience with the software MemberClicks a huge plus)
- Researching and contacting reporters, bloggers and other influencers to spread our message (experience with Meltwater also a plus)
- Assisting with donor development and other fundraising tasks
- Posting to our social media to support our members and share our successes
- Assisting our Executive Director Michele Simon with fun and creative tasks
Position is half-time employee to start. Must reside in San Francisco Bay Area and be able to work remotely. Starting salary: $22,000 for 20 hours per week. Women and applicants from underrepresented populations strongly encouraged to apply.
Ready to help us @GrowPlantBased? To apply, please send resume and brief cover letter to Noelle Callahan at Noelle@plantbasedfoods.org. Open until filled.
Are you ready for some exciting news? PBFA has been offered a generous matching challenge grant of $25,000. So, we have until December 31 to raise $25,000, which will turn into $50,000 for our groundbreaking work. Since launching in March, PBFA has already accomplished so much:
Over the past week, PBFA rocked the Natural Products Expo in Baltimore, and then met with members of Congress to educate policymakers about our growing industry.