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Countryside Alliance hits out at Tesco plan to boost fake meat sales by 300 per cent

The Countryside Alliance has hit out at a Tesco plan to boost fake meat sales by 300 per cent over the next four years.

According to The Telegraph, a fake meat alternative will be offered for every animal product on Tesco shelves by 2024.


In 2019, Farmers Guardian reported that the retailer’s former chief executive, Dave Lewis, was keen to play a part in reducing UK shoppers’ meat consumption.


Now his successor, Ken Murphy, has doubled down on the plan, revealing his policy to boost alternative meat sales.

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Tesco chief executive pledged to ‘play part’ in cutting meat consumptionTesco chief executive pledged to ‘play part’ in cutting meat consumption

But Mo Metcalf Fisher, head of press at the Countryside Alliance, said the way to pursue environmentally-friendly objectives was to provide a ‘buoyant market for ethically-produced meat from British farmers, not offer a wider selection of mung bean burgers’.


In a blog, Mr Metcalf Fisher wrote: “No one is arguing consumers should not have the right to select products based on their personal dietary preferences, but those choices should be based on a real understanding of their environmental impact.


“It is my belief that the vast bulk of the public will continue to lead meat-inclusive diets and they will opt for the real thing, so long as they understand the social and environmental benefits of choosing sustainably-produced British meat.


“What absolutely cannot happen is for supermarkets like Tesco to blindly opt for the worst possible option, which would be to offer a choice of fake meat while continuing to offer imported meat products from unsustainable systems.”




Mr Metcalf Fisher also pointed out the retailer would benefit from ‘strong financial gain’ if it pursued a pro-fake meat strategy, as most plant-based alternatives are priced with ‘astronomical mark ups’.


The Tesco revelations came as European Livestock Voice, an EU-wide pressure group, pointed out a wholesale shift to synthetic meat would further increase the power imbalance in food supply chains, with just a handful of tech companies at the top.


The group also warned mass diet change would boost demand for synthetic fertiliser and fabrics, have serious implications for food security and cause potential health issues, as complex nutrients found in meat are hard to replace.

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