“The emergence of vegetable meat is the opportunity to create a sector in France”

Tribune. Meat consumption in France has been declining since the early 2000s, with a decrease of around 0.8% in 2019 in particular, according to the national establishment of agricultural and seafood products, France AgriMer. . This decline in consumption also concerns the majority of developed countries.

At the same time, many studies demonstrate the harmful effects of overconsumption of meat on health. Processed meat has thus been classified as carcinogenic by World Health Organization, and a study for the American Heart Association has shown that a more plant-based diet decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease by 42%.

“Better and less”

From an environmental point of view, livestock is responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse emissions, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and uses more than 20% of water resources.

Should we reduce our meat consumption? While the livestock sector calls for “better” consumption, the plant sector calls for “better and less” consumption.

On September 21, we announced the start-up at the beginning of September of the first French vegetable meat factory, with a production capacity of 6 to 10 tonnes per day. The promise is to reproduce the taste of meat, with 100% plant-based products, to help consumers reduce their meat consumption.

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Many voices were raised among the breeders’ unions, who saw it as a risk for their sector. Among the accusations, the use of the names “vegetable meat” and “vegetable steak”. While 78% of French people consider these appellations to be transparent and not misleading (Protein France study October 2020, covering a sample of 580 people), a decree is still expected to clarify the regulatory situation.

An evolution in progress

Next, the presence of Xavier Niel (also a personal shareholder of the newspaper The world) among investors (he holds less than 1% of the company’s capital), while he is also the initiator of the referendum on the animal condition.

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Finally, several consumer studies have, at the same time, criticized the water content at 60% of this type of product, yet equivalent to the water content of a meat steak. The sector, through its professional organizations Interbev, Inacol and Inaporc, has announced that we are suing our company.

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