ESS Partners With MOD Vegan & Vegetarian Network to Provide Plant-Based Food to UK Armed Forces

Support services provider ESS has announced a collaboration with the MOD Vegan & Vegetarian Network to help members of the Armed Forces follow a plant-based diet. The Network is a community connecting vegetarians and vegans across the military services, along with providing support to help them maintain their lifestyles.

ESS provides soft facilities services to 250 military establishments UK-wide, and is already working to offer more plant-based options and less meat on its menus. 27% of the company’s core menu is currently vegetarian or vegan, while a further 30% of dishes are plant-forward (meaning at least 30% of the meat has been replaced with plants). The new partnership will help to further increase these options.

“Working with ESS is part of providing a positive ethical, environmentally friendly, and healthy culture in the MOD,” said Squadron Leader Sophie Foxen, chair of the MOD Vegan & Vegetarian Network. “We want to see enthusiasm for high-quality vegan and vegetarian food throughout the MOD. Overall, as more working adults become vegan or vegetarian, we believe our partnership with ESS is important to help ensure that the MOD doesn’t miss out on recruiting or retaining some top talent.”


Meeting sustainability targets

The MOD (Ministry of Defence) has previously shown support for plant-based eating, signing up for the Veganuary Workplace Challenge earlier this year. It comes after the US Navy announced in 2022 that it may begin trialling plant-based proteins at some bases, due to the cost of animal meat and the difficulty of storing it.

“It’s important that we listen to our customers and by partnering with the MOD Vegan & Vegetarian Network, ESS will respond to the needs of those choosing to have a vegan or vegetarian diet in a really meaningful way,” said Scott Freeman, Culinary Director at ESS Defence. “Vegan and vegetarian food is delicious, healthy, and great for our planet, and we’ll be working with the Network to further develop and promote these options. This is building on our focus of reducing meat on our menus, supporting health and sustainability targets.”

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