Richmond sausages with mash and peas

© Richmond Sausages

Studies & Numbers

UK Meat Consumption Drops 14% in 10 Years, Reaching Lowest Level Since Records Began

Per capita meat consumption in the UK fell by 14% between 2012 and 2022, according to new government figures from the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The trend takes total meat consumption to the lowest level since records began in the 1970s. This is true across all types of meat, with a huge 26% reduction in the consumption of carcass meats (such as pork, beef, and lamb) since 2012, and an 11% fall in the consumption of other meats such as poultry. The year to March 2022 saw a notable drop in average weekly meat intake, from 976g compared to 854g the previous year. Fish consumption also fell over this period, from 148g to 135g, as first reported by the Guardian yesterday. …

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Shaunagh_Duncan, Oatly UK

Shaunagh Duncan, Head of Sustainability ©Oatly UK

Interviews

Oatly: “It is Absolutely Achievable for the UK to Significantly Reduce its Consumption of Animal Products”

Shaunagh Duncan, Head of Sustainability at Oatly UK and Marisa Heath, Chief Executive, Plant-Based Food Alliance UK, spent some time discussing their insights into sustainability, the UK’s food strategy, the school milk campaign, and driving the systemic shift towards plant-based in order to avoid climate disaster. What is your opinion on the recent UK government’s food strategy? Shaunagh Duncan: It is incredibly disappointing that the Government’s food strategy lacked any mention of plant-based products and made no recommendations around the reduction of dairy and meat consumption. We had hoped to hear new plans for all school children to be given access to a vegan school meal option, but this was also not included.  Food production is responsible for a third of global GHG emissions – …

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The Prime Minister Boris Johnson Portrait

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson, image: Ben Shread / Cabinet Office

Politics & Law

“A Missed Opportunity”: Alt Protein Leaders Respond to UK Government Food Strategy Published Today

The UK Government Food Strategy was published today, highlighting how sustainable and alternative proteins can play a major role in British food production. However, the report falls short and has been labelled as a disappointment to the UK and to the planet. Here follows commentary on the whitepaper from leaders and experts from within alt protein: Russ Tucker, Co-Founder of UK’s first cultivated meat company Ivy Farm; Morten Toft Bech, founder of Meatless Farm; Elena Walden, Policy Manager at the Good Food Institute Europe; and Marisa Heath, Chief Executive of the Plant-based Food Alliance UK. Russ Tucker, Co-Founder of Ivy Farm “With no commitment given on the future of cultivated meat in the UK, the Government’s Food Strategy White Paper has missed a key opportunity …

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Politics & Law

Report Tells UK Government to Revise “Fragmented and Underdeveloped” Alt-Protein Policy

A report by the Social Market Foundation has called on the UK government to update its alt-protein policy, with the aim of improving consumer choice and accelerating the transition to a more sustainable food system. The report says that with its current “fragmented and underdeveloped” policy, the UK risks falling behind other countries. The authors propose several steps the government could take to remedy this. The recommendations are as follows: The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy should develop a UK alt-protein strategy, with input from other departments, within a year. An alt-protein innovation needs assessment should be commissioned to understand how best to spend money and how much R&D is needed. Supermarkets should aim for at least 30% of protein sales to be …

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Marisa Heath - PBFA UK

CEO Marisa Heath ©Plant Based Food Alliance UK

Charity & Campaigns

Marisa Heath, CEO of Plant-based Food Alliance UK

The Plant-based Food Alliance UK was created to act as a voice for Britain’s growing plant-based food and drink sector. Founded by Oatly, Alpro, The Vegan Society, Upfield and ProVeg UK, we are a coalition of civil society groups and businesses with a collective aim of making the UK a global leader in plant-based food and drink. Food systems account for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions globally and plant-based foods are a hugely impactful way of ensuring our food choices are sustainable in the future. “A shift towards plant-based will be vital in achieving the Government’s net zero target by 2050” A shift towards plant-based will be vital in achieving the Government’s net zero target by 2050. We are seeing people introducing more plant-based meals …

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Fois Green

Foie Green. Image courtesy of Ficoba

Politics & Law

UK Government Reaches Out to Plant-Based Innovators to Replace Foie Gras Forever

Following the historic decision from MPs to ban trade in foie gras, the UK government has called on vegan restaurateurs to advise on plant-based alternatives to the cruel practice. As first reported by The Guardian, the government is aiming to prove that gap in the markets left by restrictions on controversial products like foie gras can be filled by plant-based innovation.  As the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs works out legislation to ban the sale and import of foie gras – produced by force-feeding fat to caged ducks and geese by pipes down their throats multiple times a day – alt meat innovators are already ahead of the curve with an array of so-called “faux gras” products.  ProVeg incubator alumni Aberyne produces …

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©Heura

Sustainability / Environment

Heura’s Urgent Message to Boris Johnson: Plant-Based Deserves a Seat at the Table

After the recent alarming IPCC report on climate change was released with stark warnings for the future of humanity, the Spanish “food activists” behind Heura have given an urgent message to UK politician Boris Johnson: stop ignoring the science and make plant-based diets part of climate policy.  Following the UK government’s dangerous lack of action, activists and Heura co-founders Marc Coloma and Bernat Añaños have made the video message, as well as launched a petition to demand that world leaders support a plant-based diet to combat climate change. In advance of COP26, they have also penned an open letter to Boris Johnson, which states: “We have listened to your words. We have noticed your (lack of) actions. Now it’s time to act and address diet …

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Jivinti campaign Kamala Harris

©thevirsafoundation

Society

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams & Heather Mills Join “Plant-Powered Kamala” Campaign

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, youth activist and Million Dollar Vegan advocate Genesis Butler, and vegan entrepreneur Heather Mills are part of a group supporting the JIVINITI campaign, asking the Biden-Harris administration to push for plant-based solutions to a range of pressing issues including Covid-19 pandemic, food insecurity, chronic illness, and climate change.

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