In a win for the plant-based foods community, PBFA member Miyoko’s Kitchen scored a tremendous victory in their hometown of Petaluma, California when the local city council voted in favor of sending a letter to the FDA in support of Miyoko’s Kitchen and our members’ collective right to free speech.

The debate over dairy alternative labeling is still in full swing as dairy industry lobbyists continue to pressure the FDA to prevent plant-based food companies from using words such as “milk,” “cheese,” and “butter” on their foods.

In September, the FDA asked for input through a national “Request for Information” inviting opinions from stakeholders and the general public on the matter.

The letter from the mayor of Petaluma discusses the positive impact Miyoko’s Kitchen has had on the city’s economy by creating jobs, and how removing their right to label foods such as milk, cheese, and butter would hurt not only the company and its customers, but also the local economy.

As a result of the success in Petaluma, PBFA has created a letter template for our members’ use in your own communities with city officials- these letters can be submitted to the docket through January 28, 2019.

Miyoko Schinner (PBFA founding board member and CEO of the company) told the Argus-Corrier, “there’s a revolution going on right now underneath our noses. It’s unavoidable whether you like it or not.”

What makes this win even more impressive that Petaluma is home to many traditional dairy farms. But this action shows that having dairy farms in your area doesn’t mean that local legislators can’t support the booming local plant-based foods industry as well.

Check out the vote that got this awesome legislation passed here:

This victory serves as a teachable moment for all of us working to further the plant-based agenda. Change starts at the local level, and by soliciting a letter of support from their hometown government, Miyoko’s Kitchen showed that one simple action can mobilize the leaders of communities to acknowledge and appreciate the impact of plant-based businesses. After all, community support is what allows our small businesses to succeed.

Wondering how your company can get involved in the plant-based dairy labeling conversation just like Miyoko’s Kitchen? Try contacting your local government to ask for their support. Inform them on the positive impact your company has on the community, and the negative impacts that would occur should the FDA restrict labeling.

Or, if you’re an individual looking to voice your opinion to the FDA in support of plant-based companies using words like “milk”, “cheese”, and “butter”, check out our recent blog for tips on how to make your voice heard here.

And of course, huge kudos to Miyoko’s Kitchen for this impressive accomplishment!