ProVeg International has welcomed ambitious plans by food retail giant Aldi Süd to increase its plant-based product range in Germany from the current 700 products to 1,000 by the end of 2024.
The company’s nutrition report states that the plant-based range will be expanded both with new products and also by removing small quantities of animal-based ingredients in some existing products to make them vegan.
Aldi Süd’s move reflects a similar decision by the retailer Lidl, which stated earlier this year that it would be increasing its plant-based offerings and reducing animal-based products as part of a strategy to decrease its environmental impact. Furniture giant IKEA, which serves 520 million people a year in its in-store restaurants, has said it will be replacing or removing dairy products, also for environmental reasons.
Diet change not climate change
Aldi acknowledges in its nutrition report that plant-based foods are “particularly climate friendly”, a claim backed up by numerous studies, including one study that came out this month that highlighted the damaging effect of the meat and dairy industry on the planet through greenhouse gas emissions.
The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, reveals that high methane producing foods like meat and dairy products will push the planet past the 1.5C international target by the end of the century if left unchecked.
“ProVeg welcomes Aldi’s decision to increase their plant-based offerings, particularly in light of the growing number of flexitarians who want to reduce their meat consumption and enjoy plant-based alternatives that look and taste very similar to meat products,” Jasmijn de Boo, Vice President of ProVeg International, said.
“Increasing the plant-based product range offers more choice at mealtimes and helps societies switch to more climate-friendly diets and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions,” de Boo said.
Restrictions on labelling of plant-based food must end
Restrictions on the labelling of plant-based foods continue to crop up around the world, despite the fact that they emit half as much greenhouse gas as animal-based foods.
Italy is the latest country to propose restrictions on using “meaty” names for plant-based foods. Other countries that have considered restrictions on plant-based food labels include Belgium, France, South Africa, the UK and the US.
“We need to be encouraging climate-friendly diets with all the policy tools we’ve got,” de Boo said. “Study after study is showing that a transition to plant-based diets is needed, and as a matter of urgency. Labelling policies should actively support, not hinder, this transition.”