Belfast endorses global Plant Based Treaty

Councillor Paul Doherty. © Social Democratic and Labour Party

Charity & Campaigns

Belfast Becomes First Irish City to Endorse Global Plant Based Treaty

The Northern Irish capital, Belfast, has become the first city in Ireland to endorse calls for a global Plant Based Treaty. The campaign aims to address the impacts of climate change through a shift towards plant-based diets. The motion was brought by Councillor Paul Doherty, who previously helped to make Belfast a Right to Food City as part of a campaign working to end hunger. Doherty told Belfast Live that the council had already made progress in improving access to food through initiatives such as breakfast clubs, and said committing to the Plant Based Treaty was “an important next step”. Now that the motion has successfully passed, Belfast City Council will contact the Northern Ireland Assembly to call for a broader commitment to the treaty …


Errigal Bay facility

© Errigal Bay

Manufacturing & Technology

Irish Shellfish Producer to Open Oat Milk Facility Following Decline in Demand for Seafood

Irish shellfish producer Errigal Bay is set to open an oat milk facility in the county of Donegal, citing decreased demand for seafood and a growing market for plant-based products. The facility will be located next to one of Errigal Bay’s existing seafood processing facilities, in an area originally intended as a seafood cold store. However, the cold store is no longer needed due to changing market conditions; in a recently approved planning application, Errigal Bay noted that the loading on its existing facility has reduced in recent years, since “seafood production has experienced a decline in demand”. Consequently, the company intends to protect its existing employees and create further job opportunities by entering the plant-based sector. The new facility will also help to support …



© Sea&Believe

Sustainability / Environment

Ireland Announces €9M Funding Initiative to Develop an All-Island Bioeconomy

Ministers from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have announced a €9 million funding initiative supporting bioeconomy innovation and solutions. Called the Shared Island Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative, the funding will be available to applicants across the island of Ireland. The bioeconomy is defined as “sectors that conserve, use, process, distribute or consume biological resources from land and sea including agriculture, horticulture, forestry, food processing, construction, packaging, chemicals and organic waste sectors and land and marine ecosystems”. The initiative aims to support projects that use biomass produced in land and marine areas to develop higher added value biobased products and solutions with demonstrable sustainability benefits. This will help to meet a key objective of Ireland’s Bioeconomy Action Plan 2023-2025, which involves launching pilot demonstration facilities …


Truly Gluten Free Original Pour into Coffee Mug

© Truly Grass Fed

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

USA: “Sustainable” Irish Dairy Brand Truly Grass Fed Launches Gluten Free Oat Milks

Truly Grass Fed, a brand of animal milk and cheese products for the US market owned by Irish dairy cooperative Tirlán Ingredients, has launched Truly Gluten Free Premium Irish Oat Milk in two varieties; Truly Gluten Free Original Oat Milk and Truly Gluten Free Extra Creamy Oat Milk, both made from 100% Irish oats. Tirlán Ingredients, previously known as Glanbia Co-operative Society Limited, under the umbrella of Glanbia Ireland DAC, employs over 1,500 people in Kilkenny Ireland. Its traditional milk proteins, whey proteins, cheese, butter, and casein products are sold to more than 100 countries annual turnover of over €1billion as of 2022. The company clearly has its eyes on the milk alternative sector as evidenced by this Veganuary post on its social channels from …


Vegan Society of Ireland

© Vegan Society of Ireland

Charity & Campaigns

Vegetarian Society of Ireland Renamed to Vegan Society of Ireland Following Unanimous Vote

Over 40 years after it was founded, The Vegetarian Society of Ireland has become The Vegan Society of Ireland after members unanimously voted in favour of the change. The organisation, which is a registered charity, said that most members were already vegan and interest had dwindled, indicating that a rebrand was needed. However, vegetarians are still welcome to join, and all members can benefit from a number of discounts. The Vegan Society of Ireland plans to raise awareness of veganism in Ireland by running campaigns and events, along with gaining media exposure. The group already has 50 volunteers, and expects to gain more following the transition. “I’m absolutely delighted that we have finally reached the stage where we are about to launch the Vegan Society …


Palmaria palmata

© Anastasiia -

Algae, Microalgae & Seaweed

Aquaculture Startup Sea&Believe Announces Launch of Inaugural Seaweed Farm in Ireland

Aquaculture startup Sea&Believe has achieved a significant milestone with the launch of its inaugural seaweed farm in Connemara, Ireland. The company develops ingredients for the food and skincare industry using Palmaria palmata, a red seaweed native to the Atlantic, which is notable for its rich nutrient profile, boasting a protein content of 23%, which surpasses the average 17% typically found in fish. According to the company, the seaweed cultivated on the Sea&Believe’s farm is recognized for its myriad health benefits, including antiviral, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties. It also contains Mycosporine-like amino acids (MAA), contributing to its status as a nutritionally complete plant-based product. The farm also contributes to the revitalization of marine life and aids in the restoration of the marine ecosystem in Connemara. This …


Aisling Cullen, Founder, Thanks Plants.

Pictured is Aisling Cullen, Founder, Thanks Plants. Picture by Shane O'Neill, Coalesce.


Thanks Plants: “We Want to Be Known Europe-Wide for Great Ingredients and Clean-Label Products”

Ireland-based Thanks Plants was founded in 2020, with the aim of offering clean-label meat alternatives made from recognisable whole food ingredients. The concept proved hugely popular with Irish consumers, and Thanks Plants’ products — made predominantly from seitan, legumes, and vegetables — are now available at SuperValu and Fresh stores in Dublin, along with some independent retailers. Aldi Ireland also stocked a selection of the meat alternatives for six months this year, and Thanks Plants’ Festive Roast was available at Planet Organic stores in London last Christmas. The brand is now on a mission to expand beyond Ireland, entering countries with a high demand for healthy plant-based options. We spoke to founder Aisling Cullen to find out more about Thanks Plants and future plans for …


A steak and bacon

© American Institute for Cancer Research

Politics & Law

Backlash From Animal Ag Groups Forces EPA Ireland to Remove Meat Reduction Tweet

The Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deleted a tweet encouraging consumers to reduce meat consumption following the adverse reaction of animal agriculture groups. The tweet advised consumers to cut down on meat by exploring vegetarian recipes and participating in meat-free Mondays. It also highlighted that 10% of purchased meat goes to waste. Accompanying the message was a meme of Samantha Jones from the television show Sex and the City, depicted with a smile and the caption “the planet when you reduce your red meat intake.” According to reports, the Irish Farmers’ Association said the tweet caused anger among farmers and asked for its immediate removal, pressuring the EPA to discuss the rationale behind its tweet and how it aligns with the EPA’s responsibilities. Dermot Kelleher, the president of …


Strong Roots truck

© Strong Roots

Marketing & Media

Strong Roots Gives Away Plant-Based Food in Dublin as 16% of Irish Consumers Identify as Flexitarian

Strong Roots, the B Corp on a “mission to fix the freezer aisle”, will be giving away plant-based food from its Roots on the Road food truck, each Saturday from tomorrow 24th June to the 15th July, at major shopping centres in Dublin.   The fast-growing brand points out that 16% of Irish consumers identify as flexitarian and a third of consumers buy more plant-based products than they did three years ago. A recent report from the Climate and Health Alliance has also suggested that it’s crucial for the Irish diet to move towards eating more plant-based products and less processed foods for overall health benefits countrywide.   This tasting tour comes amid a period of global expansion for Strong Roots which recently launched its …


Lakeland Dairies vegan ice cream mix

© Lakeland Dairies

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Lakeland Dairies Launches Vegan Ice Cream Mix for Food Service

Irish cooperative Lakeland Dairies has launched a new vanilla-flavoured vegan ice cream mix under its Comelle brand. Containing coconut oil, pea protein, and rice protein, the soft serve mix is free of all 14 major food allergens and is described as “deliciously smooth”. It can also be used to make thick shakes. Lakeland has been making conventional dairy ice cream mixes under the Comelle name for over 70 years, but this is the first plant-based product to be offered. “Long & renowned heritage” A report published last year revealed that the vegan ice cream market is expected to grow by $1.55 billion over the period 2022-2026, representing a CAGR of 11.49%. The increase is being driven by an expanding vegan population and more product launches, …


Thanks Plants

© Thanks Plants

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Thanks Plants Launches Seitan-Based Alt Meats at ALDI Stores Across Ireland

Dublin-based Thanks Plants has launched a selection of meat alternatives at all 157 ALDI stores in the Republic of Ireland. The products are seitan-based and contain natural ingredients such as beans, barley, mustard, vinegar, and spices. Three of the meat alternatives will be available at ALDI: The Frankfurter — A plant-based version of the classic German sausage. NoMoooo Burger — Combines seitan with black beans, pearl barley, fresh carrots, beetroot, and mushrooms. Chorizo Crumbles — Ideal for use as a pizza topping, burrito filling, and more. Other Thanks Plants products include: Apple & Sage Sausages — Plant-based sausages high in protein and low in saturated fat. Chipotle Salsa Sausages — A limited-edition product flavoured with Cali Cali’s Baja Chipotle Salsa Sauce. Sundried Tomato & Herb …


plant-based sausages

Image courtesy of Kerry


Kerry Launches SucculencePB Fat Technology for Tasty and Juicy Plant-Based Meats

Leading taste and nutrition solutions company Kerry announces the launch of SucculencePB, a “game-changing” solution to help manufacturers create vegan-friendly products with enhanced flavour and moisture. Kerry’s recent global consumer research revealed that most participants would buy plant-based burgers if they were succulent and juicy, concluding that texture and mouthfeel should also be considered when producing plant-based meat and not only flavour. A “game-changing” solution “When it comes to plant-based meat alternatives, most consumers are not willing to compromise on taste. SucculencePB is a game-changing solution that will elevate taste in the meat-alternative marketplace,” commented Darren O’Sullivan, global portfolio director of emerging taste technologies for Kerry. “By retaining moisture, SucculencePB enables product developers to deliver delicious, juicy products with improved nutritional profiles and a cleaner, more sustainable …


Dopsu range expands

© ABP Group

Products & Launches

Red Meat Giant ABP Expands Plant-Based Dopsu Range With Mince & Meatballs

Article amended 7/2: products are made with pea protein, not wheat. Irish meat producer ABP Group has added to its plant-based Dopsu range with two new products — No-Beef Balls and No-Beef Mince. The meat alternatives are made from pea protein and are now available at Asda stores in the UK. The launch is accompanied by a marketing campaign featuring TV personality Fred Sirieix, who is a Dopsu brand ambassador. “Dopsu’s range cooks and tastes just like meat, so people can create their favourite meals without compromising on a meat lovers’ experience. It is affordable, convenient, and helps to reduce wastage for diners who are turning to foods that fit with a more sustainable lifestyle,” Abigail Flynn, brand manager at Dopsu, told The Grocer. Positive …


Irish consumers go plant-based

© Oatly

Studies & Numbers

A Third of Irish Consumers Are Buying More Plant-Based Products, Oatly Study Suggests

A survey conducted by Opinions Research on behalf of Oatly has found that a third of Irish consumers are buying more meat and dairy alternatives than they were three years ago. 25% of these consumers said they were motivated by concern about climate change (though only 13% were aware that the food system generates a third of global emissions). Another 25% were cutting back to improve their health, and 30% of the 1000 respondents said they would buy even more plant-based products in 2023. Plant-based foods were most popular among consumers under 50, with 42% of 18-24-year-olds and 48% of 25-34-year-olds likely to consider swapping animal products for a vegan alternative. On the other hand, those over 65 were reluctant to make the change, with …


Squeaky Bean

© Squeaky Bean

Investments & Finance

New $300M Smart Protein Fund Intends to Disrupt Food Industry, Directing Climate Capital Towards Alt Protein

London-based Milltrust Ventures and Ireland’s Earth First Food Ventures are launching a new $300M (£242M) Smart Protein Fund tomorrow directed at funding alternative proteins companies to “disrupt and decarbonise” the food industry. The new Smart Protein Fund aims to invest climate capital toward scaling up startups and companies developing innovative plant-based, fermented, fungi-based, and cultivated meat, fish, or dairy products to replace industrial farming. 26% of global green gas emissions According to the Smart Protein Fund, the alternative protein market received over $600M in investments last year. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) predicts that smart proteins are set to account for up to 22% of global protein consumption over the next 15 years, representing a $500 billion investment opportunity for early investors. Milltrust Ventures, the venture investment arm …


Quorn & Sodexo

©Quorn & Sodexo

Food Service

Caterer Sodexo UK&I Reports Rising Demand for Meatless Meals in Workplaces

Caterer Sodexo has reported a significant increase in demand for vegetarian and vegan dishes at workplaces in the UK and Ireland. Data shows that from January to November 2022, 15% of meals sold in Wales and the North West of England were meatless, along with 11% in London and 10% in Scotland. These figures vary widely between sectors, with vegetarian and vegan dishes making up 17% of sales at Health & Care sites and, surprisingly, just 5% at schools and universities. Meanwhile, Energy & Resources workplaces have seen a huge surge in demand, with meat-free dishes rising from 2% to 12% of sales. In the Republic of Ireland, 21,000 meat-free meals were bought at Sodexo sites in 2022, increasing from 5% to 8.5% of dishes …


Vegan grilled cheese pull Violife

© Violife

Company News

Upfield Professional Rebrands to Violife Professional

Upfield, one of the world’s largest plant-based companies, known for brands such as Flora, Becel, ProActiv, and Violife, is rebranding its food service business from Upfield Professional to Violife Professional. Violife is Upfield’s award-winning plant-based cheese brand with a presence in over 65 markets worldwide. According to Upfield, using Violife’s widely recognized brand name in its food service business reflects the company’s dedication to encouraging and supporting the hospitality industry’s increasing demand for plant-based options. Violife has been enjoying increasing success over recent years. Among recent developments, the company launched three classic dairy dips into Whole Foods stores across the US; partnered with Dr. Oetker in Poland; and expanded into food service partnering with Canada’s Copper Branch and PLNT Burger for exclusive new plant-based burgers. Simon Lawrence, head …


Charity & Campaigns

Over 170 Irish Restaurants to Offer Plant-Based Options for World Vegan Day

Full Irish Vegan is a campaign group promoting World Vegan Day by asking restaurants, pubs, and cafes around Ireland to offer plant-based options. The group’s 2022 campaign launched two weeks ago, endorsed by Oscar winner and animal rights activist Joaquin Phoenix. Over 170 restaurants, cafes, pubs, and hotels have already signed up for the campaign and will offer vegan options — ranging from breakfast rolls to fine dining — during World Vegan Day and beyond. World Vegan Day in Ireland World Vegan Day is celebrated worldwide on November 1st. The day was established in 1994 by the Vegan Society UK to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the organisation’s founding. The Full Irish Vegan campaign has been organised by a group of activists around the country …


McPlant plant-based burger

© McDonald's

Fast Food

McDonald’s Reports High Demand for McPlant Burger in Ireland

As reported by Farming Independent, McDonald’s has said it is “delighted” with the performance of its meat-free McPlant burger in Ireland. The McPlant launched at all 95 McDonald’s stores in Ireland at the beginning of the year. The rollout had been delayed by the chain’s search for a suitable plant-based cheese; it eventually decided to create its own in collaboration with Kerry. Despite the burger’s success, McDonald’s says it does not currently have any plans to expand its plant-based range. Other markets The McPlant’s positive reception in Ireland will be a relief to McDonald’s, after US sales fell short of expectations when the burger was rolled out at 600 locations in January (though a campaign by PETA subsequently helped to boost sales). The McPlant burger …


Sea & Believe Plant-Based Fish/ Cod



Female-Led Irish Startup Sea and Believe to Net $3M for Flaky Plant-Based Cod

Irish foodtech startup Sea and Believe has secured commitments for half of the $3 million sum it is planning to raise. Venture capital firm SOSV is among those who are set to provide funding. The fundraise will take place following the startup’s participation in accelerator program IndieBio, which is a part of SOSV. Sea and Believe will use the funding to scale its seaweed production and form a supply chain; the company recently announced that it is building a farm and will train fishermen to harvest the seaweed. Following the mentoring and networking Sea and Believe has received as part of IndieBio, the company is also planning to enter the US market. Flaky plant-based cod Founded by entrepreneur Jennifer O’Brien, Sea and Believe has developed …