In France, ham can no longer be plant-based. The government issued a decree

Luc Williams

Names such as fillet, schnitzel, entrecote and ham will be reserved for products of animal origin. So far, products of plant origin, the so-called substitutes could be named like animal products. The industry producing meat products opposed this practice, arguing that it was misleading to the consumer.

The sausage can still be vegan

The French government published the first decree on this matter on June 22, 2022, but it was then sent for amendments to the Council of State, a body that reviews draft laws proposed by the government through decrees. The new text also prohibits “all methods of promoting products of plant origin with terminology that in some way refers to animal species, their morphology or anatomy.”

Products that contain ingredients of animal origin but contain plants are not subject to the above rule as long as they respect the percentage ratio specified in the decree. Such products are mainly cold meats, such as chorizo, sausages and cordon bleu.

The new law only applies to products produced in France, so plant products produced in other EU countries will still be able to be sold under the nomenclature reserved in France for animal products.

For non-compliance with the new law, the decree provides for penalties for producers with a maximum value of EUR 1,500 in the case of an individual and EUR 7,500 in the case of a company.


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