The vegan, plant based and vegetarian revolution that was taking place pre Covid-19 like almost everything else went into hibernation amidst the onset of the crisis we are all going through currently.
The meat markets in China that sparked Covid-19 into life are not only geographically thousands of miles away from the UK, they are animal cruelty centres a million miles away from any civilised society.
The outbreak will inevitably bring the wider conversation of vegan, plant based and vegetarian diets into focus.
Last year we saw clear evidence from caterers that not only is sustainability and veganism a priority for them, it is more profitable as a business.
We reported on The University of Cambridge removing all beef and lamb from their menus and replacing all carnivorous options with plant-based ones. It was first implemented in October 2016 and was actioned across 14 foodservice outlets at the University of Cambridge and over 1,500 hospitality events held there each year. Profits increased at the University of Cambridge across the period of implementation.
We also reported on the Brighton Centre, in conjunction with their catering partner KUDOS, announcing the removal of all beef products from its menus from January 1st, 2020. Both companies implemented the change citing their reasoning as implementing ‘moral responsibilities to their consumers’.
Now we see caterers and catering trade bodies around the UK sounding loud on reducing meat consumption, particularly in catering for the NHS and in education.
The HCA, The University Caterers Organisation, The National Association of Care Catering and The Local Authority Caterers Association are all increasingly vocal right now about increasing plant-based vegetarian and vegan options and reducing the consumption of meat.
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted almost everyone around the world, another impact will be on the sale and consumption of bona fide meat products which we anticipate diminishing significantly. Doubtless an issue that we will continue to report on in the days, weeks and months ahead.