Compass Group plans to convert around 40% of its meat-based meals to plant-based alternatives by 2030, as part of wider plans to cut carbon emissions at least 65% by 2030.
ProVeg UK, a non-profit organisation that works with school caterers to deliver more sustainable menus, welcomes the move. Its Director, Jimmy Pierson, said: “We need diet change not climate change, and Compass Group’s commitment is a huge statement of intent and positive step in the right direction. We can clearly see the direction of travel of public-sector food: we’re moving steadily away from meat and dairy and towards healthier, more sustainable plant-based foods.
“It reinforces the shift we’re already seeing within school food in recent years. We’re working with many local authorities that have declared a climate emergency and want to address the crisis through school food. These local authorities are serving less meat and more plant-based food – which they’re also finding to be healthier and often cheaper – and the feedback from children and parents has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Compass Group’s plans will no doubt encourage more schools and local authorities to follow suit. It’s heartwarming to see one of the country’s biggest catering companies taking a lead on such a crucial issue – the climate impact of our food – that is ignored by so many.”
The announcement follows new research published this week by Eating Better and PSC100 that public sector bodies are leading the shift to more sustainable eating by serving less meat and more plant-based food. The research found that 80% of those polled have committed to reducing meat content across menus, with 83% increasing plant proteins (beans, lentils, soya) in dishes by up to 20%, and 60% using more meat substitutes.
Robin Mills, General Manager of Compass Group UK and Ireland, said: “We believe it is our responsibility to contribute to a future of sustainable food production and the commitment to carbon neutrality is an important milestone.”
Through its School Plates programme, ProVeg UK works with local authorities, multi-academy trusts, and catering companies, providing a range of services, including menu consultancy and plant-based culinary training – all free of charge – to make school meals healthier and more sustainable.
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Hospitality & Catering News: Compass Group’s move to plant-based meals targets 40% by 2030. – 19 May 2021 – Compass Group’s move to plant-based meals targets 40% by 2030.
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