Brakes, the UK’s leading food wholesale supplier, has launched an initiative encouraging education caterers to serve plant-forward meals.
The company is offering a set of resources to help school, college, and university caterers understand the benefits and opportunities of including more plant-based ingredients in their dishes. This includes recipe and menu suggestions, along with nutritional information and cost-saving tips.
Brakes said that removing animal products entirely can be challenging for caterers, especially as some students struggle with unfamiliar foods. However, taking a plant-forward approach provides significant sustainability benefits and cost savings without entirely eliminating animal ingredients.
Brakes is also supporting the Menus of Change initiative, which began in the US to promote quality plant-forward catering. Developed by The Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the initiative has now made its way to the UK and is increasingly being adopted in universities.
The news comes as the Plant-Based Universities campaign sees increasing success in the UK, with the universities of Birmingham, Stirling, and Cambridge among those who have voted for fully plant-based menus. Research also indicates that the majority of UK parents want to see more vegan meals in schools.
“A plant-forward approach is a virtuous circle providing a sustainable, healthy, and cost-effective way of catering,” said Lisa Johnson, sector marketing manager for education at Brakes. “There is a lot of pressure on food operations to keep costs down, and plant-forward is a great way of doing that, as it can cut down on the need for expensive centre-of-plate protein options.”