Message from Jimmy Pierson,
Director of ProVeg UK

Jimmy Pierson

Thanks to your generous support, our pioneering School Plates programme has once again enjoyed a year of rapid growth and big successes.

Now working with 64 major school caterers, mostly local authorities, we’re making menus healthier and more planet-friendly in around 6,500 schools for over 1 million children daily, almost doubling our reach from last year.

This year we helped an estimated 12.4 million school meals become meat-free or plant-based. Our estimated overall impact is now 24.9 million meals, saving CO2 emissions which could run over 3,400 petrol cars for one year!

New this year was the launch of our menu certification scheme: The ProVeg School Plates Awards, which is incentivising and accelerating the pace of menu change through bronze, silver and gold awards. We also expanded into Scotland, where we’re already providing services to or in discussions with 20 of the 32 local authorities. 

Beyond the UK, we created and launched the Global Plant-based School Food Network. This has brought together organisations from 35 countries to share learnings and challenges to improve school food internationally. We also presented our programme at COP28 in Dubai, where we spoke to policymakers and delegates from around the world.

In terms of UK policy, we continue to meet with the Department for Education as we inch closer to a more veg-friendly version of the nutritional guidelines for school food. The media also continued to be interested in our work with features on BBC News, BBC Radio 4, and various national newspapers.

Next year, we’re excited about launching a new educational aspect of the programme to teach school children about the food they eat and its environmental impact. 

Thank you, once again, for being part of our school food revolution.

Read the messages from other ProVeg countries