AUSVEG has expressed solidarity with Australian farmers and condemned “radical” vegan activists and following direct action in Melbourne and elsewhere.
The peak industry body says it’s “disappointed” it’s been dragged into the controversy and has distance itself from the activists. It doesn’t want its plant-based commodities “to add fuel to the fire”, it said.
In a statement, the organisation also reiterated its support for the farming industry. “AUSVEG stands strongly alongside all farmers across the country, who are working to ensure all Australians continue to enjoy bountiful, safe and healthy food.”
AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside echoed Scott Morrison’s condemnation of activists who broke into properties and businesses. He also described the direction action that disrupted Melbourne’s CBD as “shameful”.
“It’s appalling that vegan activists attack our fellow agriculture producers and their livelihoods,” Mr Whiteside said.
“AUSVEG is supportive of a freedom of choice for Australian consumers. However, implicit in this action is an assumption that consumers can’t make an informed decision for themselves. I think this treatment of the community is highly likely to backfire on groups looking to garner public support.
“The radical views and actions of these individuals is not representative of the community, including those that are vegan, who take full advantage of the high-quality fresh produce Australia has to offer. It’s disappointing that the extremist attitude of a few has led to such aggressive action.”
AUSVEG added that it supports the Prime Minister’s calls for the protestors acting illegally to face “the full force of the law”.