Chris Packham celebrates School Plates turning 10 million school dinners meat-free
July 27, 2023
BBC Earth presenter praises nation-wide shift towards more sustainable school meals
Renowned conservationist and TV presenter Chris Packham has shown his support for climate-friendly school meals, celebrating 10 million UK school lunches going meat-free.
Packham, presenter of new BBC series Earth, is an ambassador for our pioneering School Plates programme, which helps school caterers create healthier and more sustainable menus. We are thrilled to now celebrate turning 10 million school meals meat-free this summer, as school caterers across the country shift towards more climate-friendly menus.
Packham officially announced his support of School Plates last year, when he became a programme ambassador. Known for his climate and animal advocacy, the Springwatch host was delighted to see ProVeg UK reach its milestone of 10 million meal swaps:
“What we put in our mouths links us directly and immediately to many key environmental issues – climate change, biodiversity loss, animal welfare and of course our own health. Projects like this are perfect for getting children and young people to think, educating them whilst improving their lifestyles, and of course critically they are asking many adults to confront the issue which will impact their pupils’ futures. It’s so reassuring that ProVeg UK goes from strength to strength.”
Since launching School Plates in 2018, we’ve supported 57 major school caterers, mostly local authorities, in reducing climate emissions through healthy school food. Through our menu consultancy, recipe development, and chef training workshops – all provided free of charge – we helps local authorities to increase the quality, quantity, and uptake of sustainable plant-based options, while raising the nutrition profile of each meal.
Jimmy Pierson, Director of ProVeg UK, said: “We are so grateful to have Chris on board with our work as an official School Plates ambassador, as we work towards a UK-wide shift to more climate-friendly school food.”
“The appetite and enthusiasm we see from school caterers across the country to serve healthier and more sustainable food never ceases to amaze us. It really is a joy to see them so engaged with our work. By embracing more plant-based foods, they’re directly protecting children’s futures. It’s an absolute pleasure to support them in their journey as they become the climate leaders the country needs.”
To further celebrate the exceptional menu efforts made by schools, we launched our new certification scheme earlier this year. The ProVeg School Plates Awards are designed to recognise the positive steps taken by caterers to create healthier, climate-friendly menus. Last month, we even announced our first Gold Awards!