Earlier this week, the South African Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) announced restrictions on the naming convention adopted by plant-based meat alternatives. The basis of this restriction comes from Regulation No.R.1283 which was issued in 2019 and it rests on the incorrect interpretation that certain names are reserved for meat products.
Fry’s, along with many of South Africa’s plant-based food stakeholders, believe that Regulation No.R.1283 does not apply to plant-based meat alternatives, and we therefore do not believe that it is reasonable. The regulations explicitly state, in 2.2.c thereof, that : “These regulations shall not apply to the following foodstuffs: Meat analogue products or non-meat based products that in general appearance, presentation and intended use correspond to processed meat products (e.g. vegan or vegetarian type processed products).”
Fry’s has been producing plant-based protein products for over 30-years from our factory in Durban, South African. The company is the pioneer of the category in South Africa. At no point have we felt that our naming conventions were confusing for consumers, and in fact, our product names play an important role in helping our consumers understand how to use our products. We feel strongly that if we cannot use product names like ‘burger’, ‘sausage’, ‘nugget’ or ‘mince’ it will create confusion for consumers. Our consumers appreciate clear direct communication.
More so, the impact on our business of recalling, relabelling and repackaging would be massive at a time when the South African Government should really be supporting local business growth rather than making it harder for them to operate.
Says Tammy Fry, co-founder of Fry’s, “We have so much data now that shows the undeniable link between animal agriculture and climate change. Plant-based foods play a vital role in making our food systems more sustainable. Enforcing a regulation like this not only undermines the important work South African meat analogue manufacturers are doing in the fight against climate change, it also makes no sense in terms of how many other governments and food regulators from around the world are responding to the data.”
Fry’s founder, Wally Fry, was a pioneer in the plant protein industry in South Africa. He first started making soy burgers and sausages from their family kitchen because we was looking for a kinder, more sustainable way to feed his family. This was at a time when most South Africans didn’t know about vegetarianism, never mind veganism. Over the last three decades Fry’s has slowly grown into a business that provides an alternative to meat to families around the world.
“We have been doing this for a long time, and I have no doubt that the good that comes from plant-based burgers, mince or nuggets, to name but a few, drastically outweighs the concerns of the meat industry stakeholders, who are clearly looking to protect their interests through regulatory exclusion,” adds Tammy.
About Fry Family Foods
It all began in the Fry family kitchen in South Africa over three decades ago, where Wally and Debbie Fry learnt how to make delicious meat-free burgers and sausages to feed their family.
Debbie and her daughter Tammy (both born vegetarians) had persuaded Wally (an avid meat eater) to give up meat. On a mission to find nutritious and satisfying meat alternatives for his family, Wally started experimenting in their kitchen.
30-years later, the Fry’s award-winning range of vegan products is available all over the world and the brand, under the continued guidance of Tammy, has pioneered the plant-based food space by making tasty meat-free alternatives that are simple and fuss-free.
The Fry’s range of vegan food was awarded Best Vegan Meat in the VegFest Awards in the UK two years in a row (2020 and 2021). In 2021 the brand’s Chicken-Style Burger was the only plant-based chicken burger to make it onto abillion’s Top 10 Plant-Based Burger list and their ‘beefy’ Big Fry Burger won the inaugural Plant-Based Food Award at the Symrise Food Review New Product Competition. In 2022 Tammy Fry’s cookbook, Made with Love and Plants, received a prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Award.
In 2020, Fry’s joined forces with LIVEKINDLY Collective as part of a leading global movement to make plant-based living the new norm. This unique collective is now on track to become one of the world’s largest plant-based food companies.
Fry’s website is www.fryfamilyfood.com
About LIVEKINDLY Collective
LIVEKINDLY Collective was founded by Blue Horizon Group on the belief that plant-based alternatives have the power to make the global food system sustainable. Its mission is to make plant-based living the new norm.
As a collective of founders, entrepreneurs and business leaders from across the globe, LIVEKINDLY Collective is uniquely positioned to create impact with speed, at scale.
Through its portfolio of brands, Oumph!, The Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat, No Meat, and The Dutch Weed Burger, LIVEKINDLY Collective is providing consumers around the world with healthy, sustainable and delicious food options.
LIVEKINDLY Collective has 500 employees and sells in more than 40 countries around the world.
LIVEKINDLY Collective was recently awarded Best Plant-Based Business in the World Plant-Based Awards 2021.
To learn more, visit www.thelivekindlyco.com