Adopting a plant-based diet is a key element of Sir David Attenborough’s witness statement to the world and future generations in his latest documentary: A Life on Our Planet.
If you have not already seen A Life on Our Planet it is essential viewing, as it lays bare one stark piece of information, humankind has to change. The video above provides an eloquent and illuminating introduction, and the full programme can be seen here.
Reflecting on his 93 years Attenborough’s assessment of where we are now, and the two options ahead of us is at no point alarmist, he calmly sets out facts and presents much food for thought.
Thankfully, all is not lost, but urgent attention to change is what he prescribes to avoid reaching a tipping point beyond which there is no return.
The tipping point is an increase in the average global temperature. This increase is underway, most bona fide estimates agree it is already one degree higher and growing. The tipping point is another four to five degrees of increase, and that is within reach in decades unless substantial change to how the world consumes resources takes place.
One very important change that is needed to avert the impending disaster is a move away from an omnivorous diet. The move advised by Attenborough is not the exclusion of all meat, poultry and fish in diets, but substantially less.
The simplicity of people changing their diet potentially changing the world seems ludicrous at first glance, but the provision of meat, poultry and fish in diets for billions of people is draining the world’s resources. The farming of animals on the scale currently deployed globally is totally unsustainable. If you want to know why, A Life on Our Planet answers that question in a simple and balanced way.
So, for us the two issues that will shape hospitality and catering in 2021 more than any and all others are sustainability and plant-based diets.
Sustainable Hospitality and Catering Business
Institutional investors are accelerating divesting from funds that in any way add to climate change. This is evident in every economy on a global scale and as such companies that are seen to not operate in a sustainable way are loosing investment to grow. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Criteria is now part of every stock market and most sub markets and exchanges. This is driving change and the most evident being car production moving from fossil fuels to electric.
Large hospitality and catering businesses are moving in the same direction.
The largest companies in our industry now measure their financial performance through ESG, Compass Group being just one example. These companies filter their ESG policy through the supply chain, with procurement teams selecting suppliers and products on sustainability credentials. Competitors follow as all are driven by consumers, and consumers want sustainable services and products.
Plant Based Hospitality and Catering Business
Millions of consumers want plant-based options, driven by non-vegans and non-vegetarians embracing plant-based diet options across all out of home sectors. From McDonald’s to Michelin star dining and everything in between.
This transition has been accelerating for years and will compound in 2021.
We reported last year on The University of Cambridge removing all beef and lamb from their menus and replacing all carnivorous options with plant-based ones. First implemented in October 2016 and then actioned across 14 foodservice outlets at the University of Cambridge. The key part of the project is profit, foodservice profits increased at the University of Cambridge across the period of implementation.
We also reported on the Brighton Centre, in conjunction with their catering provider, removing all beef products from its menus from January 1st, 2020. The reasoning cited as implementing ‘moral responsibilities to consumers’.
Covid-19 undoubtedly dominated the headlines in 2020, and will continue to for some time. But sustainability and plant based diet options will equally as undoubtedly influence a fast changing post Covid hospitality and catering world.
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Hospitality & Catering News: sustainable plant-based hospitality catering – 29 December 2020 – sustainable plant-based hospitality catering
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