UK public sector embraces plant-based change
May 19, 2021
A recently released report has found that 80% of public sector caterers are committed to meat reducing and increasing plant proteins in their menus.
Eating Better and PSC100 group surveyed around 90 caterers, representing 5,000 sites across the UK, including schools, universities, hospitals, care homes and prisons. They found that:
- 80% of those polled have committed to reducing meat content across menus.
- 83% have increased plant proteins (beans, lentils, soya) in dishes by up to 20%, while 60% have been using more meat substitutes.
- 51% said demand for red meat had dropped by up to a fifth and 60% said there had been reductions in both pork and processed meat.
- 52% said they were placing meat-free dishes higher up the menu.
- 48% have introduced meat-free days.
The report found concerns about climate change, nature loss, and individual health to be the key drivers of change across public sector menus.
Schools leading the way
Schools are among the public sector bodies that are leading this shift to more sustainable eating by serving less meat and more plant-based food.
It’s no surprise then that our School Plates programme, which supports schools and local authorities to increase plant-based options and uptake on school menus, is generating more interest than ever before
Jimmy Pierson, Director of ProVeg UK said:
“This new research accurately reflects our experience within school food over the last few years. We’re working with many local authorities that have declared a climate emergency and want to address the crisis through school food.
“These local authorities are well and truly stepping up to the plate when it comes to sustainability. They’re serving less meat and more plant-based food – which they’re also finding to be healthier and cheaper – and the feedback from children and parents has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Through our School Plates programme, ProVeg UK works with local authorities, multi-academy trusts, and catering companies, providing a range of services, such as menu consultation – all free of charge – to make school meals healthier and more sustainable.