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The boss of the world's leading plant-based meat company, Beyond Meat, supports a tax on meat.
In an interview for the BBC, Ethan Brown said that taxing meat could encourage more investment in plant-based protein in emerging markets where meat consumption increases rapidly as more people move from poverty into a middle class.
He also said that all the data show that consumers are already buying more plant-based food.
"If you look at shopper data that we have, 93 per cent of the people that are putting the Beyond burger in their cart are also putting animal protein in. That says we're getting more and more penetration into the broadest swath of the market, which is people who are consuming animal protein, but again, are hearing this information about their health or maybe hearing about climate, or maybe uncomfortable with factory farming, they're deciding to cut down on their consumption of animal-based products," he said.
Beyond Meat is one of the largest plant-based food companies on a mission to create a shift into a more sustainable diet by promoting meat alternatives made with vegetable protein.
The main obstacle for the plant-based industry is the high price of plant-based substitutes compared to traditional meat prices. A tax on animal products would make meat more expensive, creating a chance for plant-based meat to become more affordable and popular.
"As we scale, we'll begin to be able to underprice animal protein - if you look at our facilities, and you look at the facilities of say, some of our plant or animal-based competitors, right, we're still a very small company [but] that's going to change.
"One of the reasons I was so focused on these deals with McDonald's and with Yum is because I believe that's the route to [bringing] costs down and to scaling and to being able to make these products accessible to every consumer that wants them," he said.
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