Amul, an Indian dairy cooperative and one of the biggest food companies in the country, is facing calls to abandon dairy and make the switch to plant-based.
PETA India is demanding company ditch dairy completely.
But Amul is kicking back and stands by its firm views against plant-based products, which it says are inaccessible for people on lower incomes.
Amul urged to go plant-based
The animal advocacy charity penned a letter to the company, in the hopes of encouraging it to ‘benefit from the booming vegan food and milk market’.
However, this came after Amul released an ad campaign deploring dairy-free alternatives.
Currently, dairy corporations in India are trying to keep the ‘milk’ label for animal milk only.
This was raised in the Delhi High Court by the National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India.
According to reports, a decision over the label will be made in a hearing later this September.
Dr. Kiran Ahuja is Vegan Outreach Coordinator for PETA India.
Dr. Ahuja said: “Much of the world – and that certainly includes India – has turned sour towards dairy over animal welfare, environmental, and health concerns.
“PETA India is calling on Amul to realize which way the wind is blowing and switch to producing the creamy dairy-free milk that today’s consumers want.”
PETA India also claims that most Indians would be ‘astonished’ to learn that the dairy sector is a leading supplier of cattle to the beef industry.
They’re used as ‘milk machines’, it claims, and are sold off as cheap meat when they are no longer profitable.
Scathing ad campaign
Amul is managed by the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. Its latest print campaign claims to ‘bust the myths’ about plant-based dairy products.
It reads: “Plant-based dairy analog products like soya beverages, are not milk.”
Moreover, it states that it is ‘good for the cattle’ as well as a ‘superfood’.’Milk is the dairy industry, ‘Milk is an instrument of socio-economic development’, the campaign reads.
Campaigns such as these have been branded desperate in the past, as the sector tries to hold its grip on the declining dairy industry. It has seen plummeting sales, in the US and UK in particular.
PETA India kickback
The Founder of Amul is RS Sodhi.
The businessman shared a series of tweets kicking back against PETA India.
He said: “PETA wants Amul to snatch livelihood of 100 mill poor farmers. And, handover all its resources built in 75 years with farmers money to market genetically modified soya of rich MNC at exorbitant prices. Which average lower middle class can’t afford.”
Moreover, he branded soya alternatives ‘lab-manufactured factory food made out of chemicals’.
Dairy giants going plant-based
Calls for Amul to embrace dairy-free alternatives are in line with a host of other dairy brands investing in the plant-based market worldwide.
They include Nestlé, Epigamia, Chobani, Danone, and Yoplai.
Despite the Indian dairy giant’s resistance to change, attitudes across the country are moving towards embracing ditching dairy and meat.
This was indicated in a double-page spread published by one of the leading daily newspapers. Earlier this year, the Times of India heralded the health benefits of plant-based diets.
You can find out more about PETA India here