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“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”
May 4, 2018
Coming together to reduce animal consumption across the world: the 50by40 Corporate Outreach Summit
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Words by Jimmy Pierson
Last weekend was a significant time for our movement. It marked the first ever international 50by40 Corporate Outreach Summit, a gathering of organisations from around the world unified by our shared ambition of achieving a 50% reduction in global animal products by the year 2040. This is what we, at ProVeg International, call 50by40 – our organisation’s mission.
Created and organised by our ProVeg colleagues in Germany together with the Humane Society of the United States, the three-day summit held in Berlin was truly international. We had over 160 participants from over 30 different countries across six continents sharing success stories, best practice and learnings from their institutionally-focused meat reduction campaigns of recent years.
As well as learning from each other, our aim was to bring the animal rights and vegan movements together to build an alliance to help us reach our 50by40 ambition. In time, this new alliance will become far broader in its membership so as to include organisations from the health, environment, business and governmental sectors – essential vegan allies and partners in our mission.
It was inspiring to discover just how much invaluable work is being done in countries we don’t hear much of back at home in the UK. It’s all too easy to think that Europe and the US are the centre of vegan activism just because that’s where we are. Far from it.
We heard from effective animal and veg organisations in countries such as Taiwan, Japan, China, Brazil and I was taken aback by the progress they’re making. Their big wins for animals and the planet give us enormous hope and optimism for the future, particularly in the Far East and South America – two regions with the highest meat consumption. We also shared ideas and discussed potential collaborations with groups from Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. All very exciting.
– The Humane Society of the US have now trained 4,000 culinary professionals and switched over 350 million meals from animal-based to plant based, saving over 140 million animals.
– Thanks to the Brazilian Vegetarian Society, the schools in four Brazilian cities will be entirely plant-based by the year 2019. This will result in 3 million vegan meals each year across 137 schools.
– The Portuguese Vegetarian Society successfully lobbied to create a law that makes a vegan offering mandatory in all public cafeterias. Of all meals consumed in hospitals in Portugal, 14% are now plant-based.
– the value in working with large-scale catering companies if we are to make the biggest impact
– to be relentless in our corporate outreach work. The importance of respectful persistence was the overriding message of advice given by the most successful organisations
– to talk the language of the institutions we want to influence. It is unlikely that there will be mention of animals in our discussions with corporates; money saving, health and environmental messages are the most relevant considerations for them
– to think BIG!
We came home from the weekend more motivated than ever to bring about institutional change here in the UK. Our main campaign, which we presented in Berlin, is to be launched in the UK and internationally this September.
Keep checking our media channels for announcements!