There is a new trade association in town and it is completely plant based. Yes, you heard that right, an entirely new lobbying shop in the "barnyard" dedicated to promoting policies and practices that improve conditions in the $3.5 billion plant-based food industry. Can I get a hallelujah?
It's about time that the meat and dairy trade associations had a vocal voice in Washington, D.C. challenging their practices and policies, if anything to inform consumers even more about where their food comes from.
The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) officially launched on March 7. Right now there are just two staff members, Michele Simon, executive director and Elizabeth Kucinich, policy and partnerships consultant. The PBFA also boasts a five-member board comprised of executives from plant-based food companies such as The Tofurky Company.
“Every other sector of the food industry – from sugar to organics - is represented in the policy arena,” said Michele Simon, executive director of The Plant Based Foods Association said in a statement. “The time has come for the plant-based food industry to also have a collective voice.”
Retail sales of plant-based meat, tofu, milk, yogurt, cheese, and cream has grown more than 8.7 percent over the last two years. That compares with 3.7 percent growth of the general food and beverage industry, according to SPINS, a retail sales data company.
There are currently 23 members with the trade association including Daiya Foods, Follow Your Heart, and Treeline Cheese. The New York Times and Civil Eats published stories about the trade association's launch. Dinger Dives In also has a request in for an interview and will soon hopefully feature it on the blog.