Britain's first fully vegan cheesemonger been criticised by dairy farmers within days of opening for business - for using the word 'cheese'.

La Fauxmagerie, in Brixton, south London, sells 'artisan cheeses' made from plant-based sources.

It is the first totally vegan cheese store to open in the UK.

But the dairy industry want to stop the shop branding plant-based products as "cheese" saying it is misleading to shoppers.

The sisters who launched the business branded Dairy UK's claims both "ridiculous" and "unnecessary".

Rachel Stevens, 26, opened La Fauxmagerie with her 30-year-old sister, Charlotte.

It sells a range of cheeses - but all of them non dairy
 

The shop was hailed a huge success with vegans travelling far and wide to check out the new award-winning dairy free cheddar, camembert, mozzarella and halloumi on offer.

The sisters, originally from a rural village in south Wales, ditched their day jobs to launch the business.

But within days the independent business in the Brixton Village complex has "ruffled feathers".

The industry's trade association, Dairy UK, has accused the sisters of misleading customers by labelling vegan goods as 'cheese'.

But Rachel says the dairy giant's claim "discredits and underestimates the intelligence" of their customers.

Charlotte opened the business with her sister
 

She said: "It's clear in the name of our business that we are selling dairy free products - it's a pun.

"Our tagline also clearly states we are a 'plant based cheese monger'.

"We are not misleading and the claim that we are discredits the consumers and underestimates the intelligence of our customers.

"It all seems a little unnecessary, people are generally aware that plant based means non-dairy.

"Peanut butter doesn't include butter and when people ask for a soy latte at Costa, they ask for soya milk - not blended soya beans."

But the pair have been criticised for 'misleading' customers

The former Marks and Spencer merchandise worker said: "We expected some attention because we knew we'd be the first in the country, but we didn't expect to ruffle feathers.

"Dairy UK sent a letter to the shop.  We are going to take things as they come.

"I understand people might be sceptical because the food culture in the UK is very meat heavy."

Rachel who moved to Balham, south London, four years ago only became a fully fledged vegan last month.

But she and her lactose intolerant sister began plans to open their own dairy free business last autumn.

Dairy UK has been contacted for comment.

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