Clements: The rise of alternative proteins prompts questions about how the products will impact animal agriculture production and demand. However, Scott Bennett, American Farm Bureau Federation Congressional Relations Director, says alternative proteins are not a threat to conventional meat in diets.
Bennett: There will always be a demographic of consumers that want and prefer conventional meat, and to be honest that’s most consumers in America. If a consumer wants to try a plant-based protein, by all means let them try it. Our job here is just to make sure they know exactly what it is they are buying which is in fact not meat.
Clements: Bennett says AFBF supports consumer choice, however labels cannot be deceptive or misleading.
Bennett: Alternative proteins are not meat and that needs to be crystal clear. Look, in my opinion, these products are for a niche market. For most Americans just trying to feed their family, they’re headed to the meat counter to pick up their next meal.
Clements: Bennett says its important to stay focused on growing the protein market.
Bennett: We tend to get caught up on the small slice of the pie of the market share that these alternative proteins are capturing. I would rather us focus on growing the size of the pie. That benefits more diets globally and still allows for that consumer choice. And, American producers of protein are first in line to benefit from that growth.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.