Prominent plant-based brands, including Oatly and Alpro, have launched a new initiative promoting sustainable food systems in the UK, with Costa Coffee and Compass Group signing up to an eco-labelling product trial
Oatly and Alpro have joined a coalition to promote plant-based diets in the UK | Photo credit: Hermes Rivera
A coalition of food and beverage brands will work with the UK government and businesses to promote the adoption of plant-based diets.
The Plant-Based Food Alliance counts Alpro, Oatly, ProVeg UK and Upfield, The Vegan Society charity as its founding members.
The group will work to develop a charter outlining how businesses and government can collaborate to promote plant-based diets – a vital step if the UK is to meet its legally binding target to reduce carbon emissions by 78% by 2035 as set out in the Paris Agreement.
In order to achieve the more ambitious target of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the UK government’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) recommends a 20% per capita reduction of daily red meat and dairy consumption.
The coalition will also work to promote product eco-labelling to indicate environmental impacts such as carbon emissions and energy usage – an initiative already being trialed by Costa Coffee, Compass Group, Nestlé and Sainsbury’s.
“We’re already seeing people introducing more and more plant-based meals into their diets, driven by a desire to improve their health and to reduce the environmental impact of their food choices. This is a change we’re seeing in every demographic of the population,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Marisa Heath.
Another key component of the charter will be providing financial and practical support for farmers to promote sustainable farming practices. Additionally, the charter will push the UK government to develop campaigns to increase consumer awareness of the health and environmental benefits associated with plant-based diets.
Alpro and Oatly, two of the alliance’s founding partners, have experienced significant growth over the last 18 months, as demand for plant-based products continues to soar around the world.
Highlighting the growing popularity of plant-based products, Oatly recently announced plans to open a new production site in the UK in 2023.
Meanwhile, in September 2020, Alpro revealed plans to invest €30m ($35m) to boost production at its facilities in Kettering, UK and Wevelgem, Belgium.