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Episode #21 - Michele Simon

Episode #21 – Michele Simon: Leading The First Plant-Based Foods Trade Group

Mar 22, 2017

“Every single one of our members companies is mission-based. They’re not in this just to make a quick buck, they’re in this to make a difference.”


Shifting our food supply from the destructive, animal-based situation it is in today will require a collective effort of many companies. But beyond being only collective, the effort must be coordinated and supported by new food policies.

This is why you need to listen to Michele Simon if you have any type of plant-based food business, whether it’s in the United States or anywhere else. Michele is the Executive Director of The Plant Based Foods Association, a trade group that just recently celebrated its first anniversary, and she has been researching and writing about the impact of the food industry on the society and our health for over 20 years.

Leading The Plant Based Foods Association is different from her past work, though – before, she was writing about the ‘dark side’ of the food industry, and about policies favoring the big meat and dairy companies at the expense of consumer health. Now, she gets to actively promote and support companies at the frontlines of the plant-based revolution.

In this interview (short as it may be – we couldn’t get our schedules aligned for a full hour), we talk about the role of the group in influencing food policies and the benefits for members, which range from media exposure to networking and mentorship from larger, already established businesses.

Michele just returned from the Natural Products Expo West 2017 a few days before this interview, so we spent some time talking about all the new trends in the plant-based space, about a huge market opportunity that vegan food companies have yet to seriously tap into… and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask about the notorious ‘Dairy Pride Act’ that has been making waves for a few months.

Hit Play and find out if it’s a threat to dairy-free alternatives, or just a lot of noise by a giant in decline…

(You do not need to be a plant-based food business to join or support The Plant Based Foods Association – like The Plant-Based Entrepreneur, you can join as an affiliate, or simply donate through their website linked below.)

Show Notes

Plant Based Foods Association: Main Website

PBFA’s 1st Year Accomplishments (pdf report)




Michele’s book on food industry and health: Appetite For Profit*

Natural Products Expo West

The brand coming out with 9 flavors of yogurt: Follow Your Heart

10 new products at this year’s Expo West from Upton’s Naturals

Makers of flaxseed milk… and also yogurt: Good Karma

DIY plant-based meats coming this year from Tofurky

Makers of organic coconut ice cream (you have been warned): Coconut Bliss

More from Michele on checkoff programs in the new documentary from the creators of Cowspiracy: What The Health

How the Dairy Pride Act actually generated positive media coverage for PBFA

The US producers aren’t the only ones afraid of plant-based food: NZ MP sees vegan labels as threat

And in EU: German Agricultural Minister Wants To Ban Vegan Meat Substitutes

*This is an affiliate link – purchasing through it won’t cost you extra, but I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale, which I’ll gratefully use to create more great content for this site.

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