Catering groups across the UK public sector have signed a new initiative which aims to reduce meat consumption across schools, hospitals, universities and care homes.
The campaign, 20% Less Meat, aims to reduce the amount of meat on menus by 20% across schools, hospitals, universities and care homes.
Major catering associations – including LACA, ASSIST FM, HCA, NACC, TUCO and PACE – have collaborated to formally adopt the meat-reduction pledge and are urging other public operators to sign up.
The initiative reportedly represents a commitment from the industry’s major players to tackle the urgent issue of meat reduction, as previously emphasised by the IPCC, WHO, FAO and EAT Lancet, and comparatively the high level of greenhouse gases generated by farming animals.
With the help of animal charity Humane Society International/UK and others, it has been estimated that meeting the 20% target across the sector would save 200,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions.
The initiative also has the support of the Eating Better Alliance, a diverse stakeholder group working to stimulate a 50% reduction in meat and dairy consumption in the UK by 2030.
ProVeg UK, part of the Eating Better Alliance, provides free training, advice and menu planning to public sector caterers wishing to reduce their reliance on meat and increase the sustainability of their offerings.
“Never has the public sector made a commitment of this magnitude – good for the planet and good for people,” said Philip Mansbridge, ProVeg UK executive director.
Mansbridge added: “20% Less Meat is exactly the kind of dynamic, effective initiative the industry can cooperate on and all that is needed is some small changes. By committing to this pledge and making simple and effective adaptations, all public sector caterers will soon find more of their meals are healthier, more planet friendly and equally or more delicious.”
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