In August 2021, Miyoko’s Creamery won a lawsuit against the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which approved the company’s use of terms like “dairy,” “butter,” and “cruelty-free” on their plant-based products.
The ruling establishes a promising outcome for Miyoko’s Creamery, “the leading voice in the animal-free future of dairy,” and other vegan dairy companies moving forward.
The case was initially filed in February 2020 by the Animal Legal Defense Fund on behalf of Miyoko’s Creamery after the CDFA required that Miyoko’s stop using terms traditionally associated with animal products.
“The government has no business censoring humane companies from accurately describing their animal-friendly products,” ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells said.
“The California Department of Food and Agriculture should be at the forefront of efforts to shift away from destructive factory farming, not acting to stifle its competitors.
“Using words such as ‘butter’ and ‘milk’ in the context of products made from plants and not from animals is common parlance among consumers in the modern world,” said Miyoko Schinner, founder, and CEO of Miyoko’s Creamery.
“Food is ever-evolving, and so too should language to reflect how people actually use speech to describe the foods they eat. We are extremely pleased by this ruling and believe that it will help set a precedent for the future of food,” said Schinner.
In August—shortly before the announcement of their victory in the lawsuit—Miyoko’s Creamery announced another triumph: the company raised $52M in Series C funding.
According to Investopedia, Series C funding is the stage of business growth that aims to quickly scale an already successful company, sometimes by injecting capital through investors or by acquiring another company.
PowerPlant Partners, a growth equity firm focused on plant-based and environmentally-conscious business investments, invested $40M in Miyoko’s Creamery, making it the lead investor.
“Clearly, plant-based cheese and butter are disrupting traditional dairy, and the top one to two brands will capture the majority of the value being created by this market transformation,” said Julianne Hummelberg, Vice President at PowerPlant Partners.
“We believe Miyoko’s Creamery is one of those brands and couldn’t be more excited to help them execute on this opportunity.”