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French multinational retailer Carrefour has teamed up with corporations like Unilever and Danone to launch a plant-based coalition to develop vegan food in France in the wake of a proposed ban on the labelling of meat alternatives. Announced by Carrefour CEO Alexandre Bompard on LinkedIn, the group aims to reach €3B in revenue by 2026.
The French government has proposed a law banning meat-related terms like ‘steak’, ‘ham’ and ‘beef’ on plant-based alternatives made and sold in France, which is currently under consideration by the EU Commission.
In light of this, the new coalition involves Carrefour, Unilever, Danone, Bel, Savencia, Andros, Bonduelle and Nutrition & Santé. The goal is to boost France’s plant-based food industry, increase production, and make vegan food more accessible and available.
Bompard cited the food industry’s high climate footprint – food accounts for a third of all global greenhouse gas emissions, with meat and dairy alone making up 11-19% – and the rise in the number of flexitarians in France as signs of the vegan sector’s growth. A 2021 Kantar World Panel study found that 49% of French households had at least one flexitarian among them – almost double the 25% figure in 2015.
“Plant-based alternatives are an answer for our customers: they are both good for health, good for the planet and good for their budget,” Bompard wrote. “Our collective goal is to reach €3B in turnover by 2026. This initiative demonstrates our ability to join forces and assume our collective responsibility as manufacturers and distributors to consume sustainable products at reasonable prices.”
Carrefour’s plant-based initiatives
Carrefour has previously collaborated with Unilever on the latter’s The Vegetarian Butcher brand, opening what it claimed to be France’s first vegan butcher last year. In addition, the company launched a Plant Based Contest for vegan startups to showcase their innovations and promote their products. The competition’s winners secure listings with the supermarket.
In 2018, Carrefour opened a branch in Paris’s 7th arrondissement with a third of the store featuring vegan, gluten-free and organic products. Meanwhile, it debuted Carrefour Veggie, which offers V-Label-certified plant-based meat and ready-to-eat vegan meals. As part of its sustainability commitments, it also partnered with circular packaging startup Loop in 2021 to provide reusable and returnable packaging solutions for consumers.
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