You can view the interactive graphic for the campaign here or use the buttons below to view the roadmap.
Make vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fruit and pulses the focus of the food offer, including any default options.
A dietary transition towards a future where we eat mostly plants is only feasible if there are enough tasty options available to buy. Plant-rich dishes, which contain predominantly plant foods, should make up the majority of the offer. The remaining meat and dairy on sale should be produced to ’better’ standards.
Rebalance the plate:
- Increase the proportion of plant-rich dishes on the menu, at least 50% of main courses should contain mostly plants.
- Make vegetables and plant proteins the star of more dishes.
- Introduce more wholegrains and vegetables to meat and dairy based dishes.
- Use delicious recipes - often traditional dishes - that are inherently lower in meat and dairy, such as small amounts of flavoursome meat in a stir fry or paella.
- Use MSC certified fish and seafood.
- Consider offering smaller portions of "better" meat as an add-on or side to standard plant-based mains. Make better use of livestock products by serving less-used cuts of meat.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Pret a Manger
Pret a Manger offer significantly more vegetarian and plant based sandwiches to go than other stores. Eating Better’s sandwich survey 2019 found that over 50% of sandwiches in their range were vegetarian, and a further 20% were plant-based. Despite their relatively small range compared to other sandwich-to-go providers, they still manage to have more plant-based sandwich options on offer than anyone else surveyed.
For the past 3 years, the breakfast and lunch chain has tested out a number of approaches to roll out more vegetarian and plant-based meals across its stores. These include improving the vegetarian menu which is updated seasonally and introducing vegetarian only stores. In May 2019 they purchased sandwich chain EAT and said that as many of Eat’s 94 UK shops as possible will become “Veggie Prets” in response to growing consumer demand.
Menus are redesigned to ensure that the language and positioning on a menu encourages people to eat more plant-rich options and less and better meat.
Dishes centred on pulses, vegetables, fruit and nuts are very popular when they are appetising, in looks and description, and prominently displayed:
- Describe plant-rich dishes without using the words vegetarian, vegan, meat-free or healthy. Research shows this language can be off-putting. Descriptions associated with deliciousness and provenance can substantially increase sales.
- Avoid segregating plant-based dishes and products into their own ‘alternative’ section. Display plant-based and vegetarian dishes prominently on menus.
- Make meat special: refer to its origin, how it was produced, its quality.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Promoting plant-rich options with WRI
To help consumers make the shift to diets with less meat and dairy, the World Resources Institute Better Buying Lab works with food companies to develop and test approaches that support people to choose more sustainable foods when they shop or dine out. The changes tested include changing menu placement for plant-based dishes, changing the name of dishes and coming up with new favourites. Here is a selection of their results:
Changing the name of a dish: Panera
Panera, an US based café and bakery chain, tried re-naming one of their main plant-based dishes, the "Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup." Two alternative names, "Slow Simmered Black Bean Soup" and "Cuban Black Bean Soup," were tested at a range of representative stores. Changing the name of the dish really made a difference: calling the soup "Cuban Black Bean Soup" led to an increase of 13% in sales, while switching to "Slow simmered black bean soup" had no effect.
Serving ‘blended burgers’: Google
Google’s Sunnyvale campus has become a testing ground for the company’s efforts to build sustainability into its foodservice operation. The aim is to nudge employees toward eco-friendly food choices in an attempt to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. They approach meat reduction in a number of ways, including tweaking menu descriptions to make plant-based dishes more appealing, changing the order of dishes on the menu, serving ‘blended burgers’ to cut down on the animal meat used per serving and creating new plant-based dishes that compete with America’s most popular food service dishes (chicken sandwiches take the top spot at the moment).
Rebalance the plate and menu and measure progress towards encouraging plant-rich choices.
Set targets towards serving ‘less and better’ meat and dairy and measure performance against them. Making this switch requires sourcing more vegetables, plant proteins such as pulses, lentils and nuts, wholegrains and fruit, and working with suppliers to achieve this. A coherent nationwide food policy is needed to help producers to meet growing demand.
Set progressive targets and measure progress:
- Tracking sales of meat mains compared to veg-based mains. Use this to monitor the effectiveness of actions to reduce meat and dairy consumption.
- Reducing portion sizes for meat and dairy. Track overall quantity of meat and dairy purchased, by value and weight, and use this to monitor overall reduction.
- Increasing the proportion of plant-rich dishes on the menu.
- Increasing the proportion of meat and dairy produced to ‘better’ standards, with the aim to purchase only ‘better’ meat and dairy.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION:
Cambridge University Catering
The University of Cambridge Catering Service (UCS) serves thousands of meals to staff and students daily in 11 cafeterias. Working with academics at Cambridge, UCS determined that meat –particularly from ruminants– was one of the top contributors to their greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE). University of Cambridge developed a ground breaking sustainable food policy in 2016, which aimed to change eating behaviours through promoting vegetarian meals.
UCS estimated that replacing a ruminant, non-ruminant or fish meal with a vegetarian meal reduces its GHG emissions by 87, 47 or 40 % respectively. The reductions increase to 96, 84 and 82 % respectively for a vegan meal. For just one cafeteria serving 500 meals a day, six days a week over one year (312 days) changing 10% of sales from ruminant to vegetarian would save over 66 tons of GHG emissions – the equivalent of driving 12 passenger cars for a whole year.
The only investment needed was training chefs to produce varied, delicious and nutritious plant-based meals. Otherwise, increasing vegetarian meals is an economically sustainable solution, requiring no extra costs or new investments, and in fact can result in cost savings due to the relative high cost of meat.
Data on over 200,000 main meals sold from 2017-2018 has shown that doubling availability of vegetarian dishes from 25% of options to 50% of options increased vegetarian sales from 42% to 97%. Many Cambridge colleges are now serving more vegetarian options as a result of their engagement with this research.
Friends House: Setting targets to reduce meat and dairy on sale
Friends House is a venue in central London, comprising of a cafe, restaurant and events space that caters for over 1000 delegates. The venue has a strong commitment to both less and better meat. They have pledged to reduce animal-based products served in the venue and their impact on the environment by reducing meat, eggs and dairy consumption by 20% by 2020.
They sell a wide range of vegan and vegetarian food daily in the cafe, and run a weekly ‘Meat-free Monday’. The restaurant, reopening in the autumn, will be fully plant-based and will be called Seed Kitchen. The switch was informed by the fact that 53% of all the meals served in the restaurant in 2018 were vegan and vegetarian. Across, all retail outlets this rose to 73%.
Friends House has also launched the Wellbeing day delegate packages, which feature menus that follow Public Health England’s Eatwell Guide. They are a healthier alternative to the usual event catering menus and include food made with pulses, beans and starchy carbohydrates. New catering event menus were also introduced in June 2019, with a minimum of 40% vegetarian and vegan food items, further reducing the impact on the environment.
Friends House strives to source ‘better’ animal products. They were one of the first venues to earn a ‘Good Egg’ Award and a ‘Good Chicken’ Award, which means all eggs and poultry served are cage-free. They work with local farms to source animal products and vegetables, and wherever possible use organic, local, seasonal and Fairtrade products.
Roll out plant-based culinary training through chef colleges, training placements and ongoing professional development.
Rebalancing the plate requires those who develop menus to be familiar with producing delicious, balanced and varied plant-rich dishes. They need to be armed with the skills to use plant foods and understand the sustainability and business cases for why menus need to be rebalanced.
Comprehensive plant-rich culinary training would equip chefs with knowledge of how to prepare delicious plant-based food and write attractive menu descriptions. What many consider to be traditional British food is often meat and dairy heavy. Innovative training is needed for chefs to be familiar with the potential of plant ingredients so that they can confidently introduce balance into menus, transforming existing favourites and coming up with new ones.
Cuisines such as Indian and Italian can provide inspiration for exciting plant-rich dishes and ideas. Chefs are uniquely placed to help translate dietary guidelines into flavourful, exciting dishes with mainstream appeal.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: BaxterStorey Food Equilibrium
Inspired by customer demand for healthier, more sustainable food, BaxterStorey’s Food Equilibrium (Food EQ) is a project on their Chef Academy programme. The concept is a learning and development tool aimed to empower and inspire chefs to make plants and pulses the stars of the plate.
Focused on key skill-set areas, including menu planning, cooking and plating techniques, it was rolled out to 48 BaxterStorey locations across the UK, primarily staff restaurants based within the business and industry sector, and was led by its head chefs and chef managers.
Food EQ offers nutritious, balanced meals which centre around vegetables, pulses and other plant proteins. Its collection of recipes includes variations on traditionally meat-heavy favourites. The aim is to inspire a culture change and educate on how to put more plant-based proteins on the plate. The program coaches chefs through the transition, supporting them on challenges around time pressures, using new techniques and swapping ingredients.
For BaxterStorey, this is part of evolving their practice into something more sustainable:
"The foodservice industry should be leading the way when it comes to catering responsibility. An approach like Food EQ uses more sustainable ingredients; making vegetables the premium product with less reliance on meat. As demand increases for a more sustainable future, we are looking for Food EQ to become the norm, where we won’t label our food ‘vegan’, ‘vegetarian’ or ‘sustainable’ – it will just be great food prepared with love and passion by highly skilled culinary professionals."
Provide transparency on animal protein sourcing. Publish principles and actions for incrementally improving the sourcing of less and better animal protein.
Out-of-home food businesses can make a difference by sourcing meat and dairy products with known origin, excellent traceability, and incrementally switch to using animal products produced to ‘better’ standards. Businesses will need to engage with producers and the entire food chain will need to work together to achieve this and find clear ways of communicating it to customers.
For large foodservice companies, developing a comprehensive sourcing policy can really make a difference, while for smaller providers engaging directly with suppliers can be a good strategy.
Sourcing better means:
- Prioritise livestock products that come from animals that have eaten feed from sustainable sources, reduce the amount of cereal and soya fed to animals. Retailers should prioritise meat production from animals fed local feed, including from mixed farms. Request the use of alternatives to crop based foods that could be fed directly to people.
- Support responsible use of farm antibiotics. To best guarantee meat and dairy is from farms which use antibiotics responsibly, move to systems that require less antibiotics e.g. using robust breeds in extensive systems.
- Encourage engagement with suppliers to raise standards and improve animal welfare. Consider switching to products with a credible environment and welfare certification, such as Organic.
- Put sustainability at the heart of all sourcing: focus on seasonal fruits and vegetables, and take steps to source nuts, tropical fruits, cocoa and fish from verifiably sustainable sources.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: McDonald"s
McDonald’s in the UK has a universal animal health and welfare policy and has made some important commitments to animal welfare. In the UK McDonald’s has a ‘Good To Know’ section on their website where customers can find out more about their sourcing policies, including their commitments to:
- only source British and Irish beef from over 16,000 British and Irish farmers
- free range and RSPCA Assured eggs, MSC certified fish and organic milk
- eliminate the use of antibiotics defined by the World Health Organization as Highest Priority Critically Important to Human Medicine (HPCIA) in their chicken supply chain by 2027; and, a commitment to reduce the overall use of antibiotics important to human health, across their top 10 beef sourcing markets, representing more than 85% of their global beef supply chain.
McDonald’s has outperformed rivals in increasing transparency of its sourcing policies and improving many elements of it sourcing as demonstrated by Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare reports. However, McDonald’s have yet to commit to the Better Chicken Ask.
Provide full transparency to consumers on where animal products are sourced from and under what conditions of production. Ban misleading method of production imagery.
For people to make informed food choices transparency is essential. Retailers should provide clear information on origin and method of production that covers the entire range of animal products, including ingredients. Currently products may have labels or packaging that is undefined, unclear or misleading in its imagery, i.e. products from animals raised intensively indoors might be promoted with pictures of outdoor small-scale farms.
Eating Better’s 2019 sandwich survey, found that it is not even possible to identify from which country meat comes from for a third of sandwiches. Better transparency would also help to drive standards up throughout the industry and encourage ‘better’ to become the norm, as in the case of free-range eggs.
Retailers should support consumers to identify products from ‘better’ production systems. The best way to achieve this is through clearly identifiable information on the packaging or at the point of sale. Recognisable labels from credible certification schemes work well, but currently cover only premium products that constitute a small fraction of sales.
Retailers should collaborate to ensure labelling coherence across the sector or call on the government to introduce mandatory, standardised method of production labelling, to avoid confusing people.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Method of Production labelling adopted by German supermarkets
Since April 2019, for the first time all eight main supermarkets in Germany are using a unified ‘method of production’ labeling scheme that provides greater transparency on how the animals were reared. The labels display a simple but descriptive message to help people make a more informed purchasing decision about the product they are buying. The standardised labels appear on the packaging of all pig, beef and poultry meat. In the UK, Lidl is introducing a similar system for their chicken products.
The new labelling scheme does not set out new standards, but rather groups existing welfare labels and certifications into four main ‘method of production’ categories. The requirements for each ‘method of production’ category are set in terms of how much space the animals have, outdoor access and enrichment materials (i.e. natural straw bedding). They are updated regularly by an independent body. The levels are:
Level 1 "Indoor": complies with the minimum legal requirements production. In the UK, the baseline legal compliance label is Red Tractor.
Stage 2 "Indoor Plus": requires animals to be raised with a higher standard of animal welfare, such as at least 10% more housing space than the legal baseline and additional enrichment materials. i.e barn-reared chicken would be classified at this level.
Level 3 "Outdoor Reared": requires animals to have more space and some access to the outside. i.e Free Range chicken would be classified at this level.
Level 4 "Premium": has the highest requirements in terms of housing space and animals must have access to comparatively larger outdoor ranges. i.e. Organic meat would be classified at this level.
Implement marketing strategies to support sales of vegetables, wholegrains, plant proteins and better meat and dairy.
Often, flexitarian and plant-based foods are segregated into their own ‘alternative’ sections. However, to broaden their appeal they should be presented as mainstream options. Displaying plant-rich foods prominently can boost sales.
Plant-based options should be placed in prime positions within the right category. A good example of this is the, increasingly common, sale of oat milk in the dairy fridges alongside animal milk. This concept could be extended to a ‘protein aisle’ that includes pulses, nuts and other plant proteins alongside ‘better’ meat and sustainable fish.
The sale of more plant foods will be supported by:
- Product development - increase the proportion of plants in prepared products, such as ready meals. Increase the proportion of fruit and vegetables contained in snacking and ‘on the go’ products.
- Improved access - increase the provision of fruit and vegetables, whole grain products, pulses and nuts in all shops, including smaller and convenience stores.
- Store layout - improve positioning and store layout for options which include more plants.
- Promotions - by pricing vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fruit and pulses competitively including the use of promotional tools.
- Advertising - shift advertising imagery and content away from meat as central image, and ensure plant-based products feature prominently. Develop exciting content, e.g. recipes or wine-pairing advice, that applies to plant-rich foods.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: More veg with Peas Please
Peas Please, a project from The Food Foundation, WWF UK, Nourish Scotland and Food Cardiff, aims to bring together farmers, retailers, fast food and restaurant chains, caterers, processors and government departments with a common goal of making it easier for everyone to eat vegetables. They engage with retailers to secure commitments to improve the availability, acceptability (including convenience), affordability, and quality of the veg offer in shops. A number of retailers have responded positively, pledging, for instance, to reduce prices of vegetables or improve store layout to encourage sales.
Lidl has pledged to increase their range of fun sized veg to make them more appealing to children; to include one portion of veg (80 grams) in every ready meal or an equivalent serving suggestion on pack; to include two portions of veg in all online recipes and to promote veg in store, online and on printed promotional materials.
Lidl is working in a pioneering partnership with Brighton Council to improve vegetable consumption among people on a low income, including those receiving Healthy Start vouchers. Working with Brighton University, they are conducting research to understand how and why Lidl customers shop for vegetables in areas of high deprivation, and look at the role of incentives and point of choice labelling in store to increase vegetable sales.
Set sales targets and evaluate progress to rebalance the food basket. Include more vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fruit and pulses and commit to targeted reduction in meat and dairy sales.
Retailers should employ strategies to diversify their offer to include more plant foods. Set targets towards selling ‘less and better’ meat and dairy, and measure performance against them.
This would include:
- Tracking the overall quantity of meat and dairy purchased, by value and weight, and use this to monitor the effectiveness of actions to reduce meat and dairy consumption.
- Reduce portion sizes for meat and dairy in prepared products. Consider adding lesser-used cuts of meat to products to reduce impact on the environment and use more of the carcass to reduce waste. Increase the proportion of plant rich dishes on offer.
- Any animal products on offer should be produced to ‘better’ standards, and this should be communicated clearly to customers.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Tackling the sustainability of the average shopping basket - Tesco and WWF
Tesco and WWF have entered into a long-term partnership with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket by 50%, improving the sustainability of food while ensuring it remains affordable for all.
Working together, Tesco and WWF will focus on three key areas:
- Encouraging Tesco customers to eat more sustainable diets as well as transforming products across Tesco’s range to make them better for the planet.
- Restoring nature in food production by working with farmers to make crops more sustainable and taking action to eliminate deforestation from Tesco products and ingredients including soy, palm, timber and cattle products.
- Leading the food industry in eliminating unnecessary food and packaging waste from the sector.
With almost 80% of consumers keen for supermarkets to do more to offer food that is sourced responsibly, it’s clear that that the demand for action has never been greater. To build a clear picture of the full range of environmental issues associated with the average UK shopping basket, and to track progress towards the halving of that impact, the partnership is developing a new methodology to monitor performance. It will cover, amongst other things, greenhouse gas emissions on farm and within the supply chain, deforestation linked with animal feed, and by-catch associated with fishing.
The basket metric has been created by Tesco and WWF but with the intention of helping retailers and brands across the sector to assess the environmental impact of their own products. This could include targets aimed at rebalancing the food basket to include more fruit, vegetables and plant proteins. This is a long-term project with big ambitions, which will work with customers and the supply chain alike, in order to ensure a long-term change to the sustainability of the UK’s food.
Dave Lewis, Tesco Group, CEO, has said: ‘Partnering with WWF will help us make our customers’ shopping baskets more sustainable. Our shared ambition is to reduce the environmental impact of the average shopping basket by half. By working with farmers, suppliers, colleagues and other experts we hope to develop innovative solutions so shoppers can put affordable, tasty food on their plates today, confident they are not compromising the future of food for generations to come."
Implement a comprehensive strategy to support sustainable diets.
A sustainable diets strategy should be the focus of retailer’s sustainability strategy and embedded across the business.
A vision of how the retailer can support their customers eat sustainably should be set by the business. This should be implemented jointly through brand, marketing, buying, Corporate Social Responsibility, product development and finance teams.
Provide transparency on animal protein sourcing. Develop sourcing policies for sustainable animal feed and antibiotic use, better animal welfare and minimise waste.
Retailer sourcing policies define the standards for meat and dairy production in the mainstream food supply. Due to their volume of sales, retailers have the ability to mainstream ‘better’ meat and dairy both within and beyond their sector.
Retailers can influence demand for better livestock products and plant-based ingredients through buying practices, such as supplier requirements. Retailers can work with their suppliers to encourage more plant production, better meat and dairy. Where supply is not available or sufficient, new partnerships and collaborations with producers or manufacturers should be formed.
Better sourcing policies should:
- Require livestock products to come from animals that have eaten feed from sustainable sources, reduce the amount of cereal and soya fed to animals. Retailers should prioritise meat production from animals fed local feed, including from mixed farms.
- Invest in developing the supply chain for better meat and dairy. Take steps to source from a more diverse range of breeds.
- Commit to only source meat, dairy and eggs from producers and suppliers who:
- do not use antibiotics for preventative group treatments
- do not use antibiotics for routine disease prevention
- restrict the use of the ‘critically important antibiotics’ (modern cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones) and never use the last-resort antibiotic colistin.
- Define minimum quality standards that deliver good animal welfare and sustainability benefits, that are above minimum UK legal standards.
- Put sustainability at the heart of all sourcing: focus on seasonal vegetables, and take steps to source nuts, fruits, cocoa and fish from sustainable sources.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Waitrose
Waitrose currently have 5% of the UK grocery market and are one of five companies ranked as tier 1 leaders by Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare going further than many of their peer.
Waitrose requires that its suppliers practices extend beyond basic Red Tractor Assurance with bespoke standards that farmers must adhere to and that are independently verified, individual policies are set out clearly on their website, for example:
- Healthy animals are not routinely given antibiotics.
- A pledge that all cows producing milk will spend a minimum of 120 days each year grazing. In practice, during 2017, their dairy herds grazed for an average of 181 days; and in organic systems for 205 days.
- One of just three supermarkets that use only free range eggs for egg and products that contain egg (the others being Marks and Spencers and Co-op).
Alongside these commitments Waitrose has worked with external experts to explore the importance of animal feed to sustainability. Waitrose has continually demonstrated its leadership in farm animal welfare. They currently hold 12 Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards, including seven Retailer Awards from Compassion In World Farming.
Policies that impact food and farming should be connected across government. They should contain an explicit commitment to less and better meat and dairy and healthy, sustainable diets.
Government should develop a cross-sectoral food and farming strategy. Currently, developing policies which impact on food in separate departments makes integrated action very difficult, and leaves key levers for change beyond the access of relevant decision makers. Moreover, a lack of transparency over which food-related policy areas are being dealt with by which parts of government means food actors outside government may have difficulty engaging.
Government should develop a cross-sectoral food strategy that brings together ministries with shared interests and sets strategic targets on key issues. It should also provide a framework for integration across government and beyond.
Measurable and attributable targets should be set for: climate change, obesity, nutrition-related non-communicable diseases (NRNCD), food security, biodiversity, pollution control and land use change.
The new food strategy should:
- Promote to people a clear definition of what healthy sustainable diets are and deliver it through dietary guidelines. Messaging about sustainability within the dietary guidelines should be explicit, and include clear targets for meat and dairy reduction.
- Ensure people have access to a healthy sustainable diet that is affordable. Require that any new policies, or trade deals, embed people’s right to a healthy and sustainable diet and are assessed for the impact they would have on access to it.
- Embed a requirement for promoting sustainable production and consumption across government. Place responsibility for delivering strategic targets within individual government departments.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Belo Horizonte in Brazil
The city of Belo Horizonte is a world pioneer in jointly addressing food consumption, distribution and production with an integrated food policy, coordinating relevant departments such as health, education, parks and spaces, waste, etc, to deliver on strategic outcomes. The program employs a multi-stakeholder, participatory approach involving agencies/officials at local, state and national level with the explicit aim to increase access to healthy food for all. They do this by implementing programmes that shape the food environment at all levels, linking outcomes from local production to consumption, with a strong emphasis on healthy nutrition and the inclusion of family farmers into a localised and sustainable food system.
The food policy programmes have successfully eliminated hunger and malnutrition from the city, whilst at the same time boosted the local economy and livelihoods of small-scale agricultural holdings in the region. Strong political will and 2% of the city’s annual budget, that is less than 10 million USD per year, have made it possible.
The coordinating body, the Secretariat for Food Policy and Supply (SMASAN) has a council that advises in the design and implementation of food initiatives. A broad range of food stakeholders are represented: from relevant municipal, state and federal government departments, labour unions, food producers and distributors, consumer groups, research institutions, churches and civil society.
Currently the programme has six main lines of work:
- Subsidised food sales: consumption subsidies to make healthy food affordable.
- Food aid: direct food and nutrition assistance for at-risk groups in the city.
- Regulation of food markets and supply: increasing the number of commercial outlets supplying good quality foodstuffs, mainstreaming healthy food availability, price and quality control for basic staples, fruit and vegetables, providing access to credit for farmers for sustainable production of healthy foods.
- Support to urban agriculture: with the objective of promoting urban agriculture through participatory community involvement and the use of agro-ecological, sustainable methods.
- Education for food consumption: specifically to support healthy eating habits and prevent obesity.
- Job and income generation (including professional qualifications): partnerships with the private sector.
National healthy food-based dietary guidelines should integrate environmental sustainability. Guidelines should underpin policy development across all levels of government.
Sustainable, healthy food-based dietary guidance must be developed, endorsed and supported through all government departments, from national to local. These new guidelines must underpin policy development in each department, including in food, farming, fisheries and trade, with all policies assessed for their impact on access to a healthy diet. Policies across the board should adhere to and promote the dietary patterns set out in the guidelines.
The Eatwell Guide provides food-based guidance for eating a healthy, balanced diet that meets official nutrient recommendations. The diet promoted on the guide offers a host of health and sustainability benefits at population level. There is a gap between current guidance and what we are actually eating, and as a result current guidelines are measurably more sustainable than current diets.
Modelling research shows that to meet the Government’s nutrient recommendations we would need to reduce red and processed meat consumption by 80%, compensate for that reduction and get more protein from vegetarian alternatives such as beans and pulses, increasing our consumption by 86%, and reduce cheese consumption by 85%. Although limited in their scope, modelling figures give an indication of the scale of dietary change needed.
There is also room for improvement. The Eatwell Guide and associated advice should be updated to explicitly include sustainability. Currently, it is primarily health focused and includes only subtle sustainability messaging. The British Dietary Association"s One Blue Dot toolkit provides a good example of how this may be presented, with clear, explicit guidance for no processed meat, reduced animal-based protein and moderate intake of dairy.
Updated guidelines should:
- Integrate sustainability parameters alongside health.
- Model a low impact, healthy diet.
- Include clear meat and cheese reduction advice.
- Include clear messaging and advice on choosing a low impact diet for health and sustainability reasons.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Swedish food-based dietary guidelines
The Swedish food-based dietary guidelines explicitly integrate sustainability into dietary advice. With the title Find your way to eat greener, not too much and to be active!, their stated aim is to encourage people to eat less meat and more plant-foods including whole grains, vegetables and fruit, as well as healthy oils (such as olive) and some fish.
The guidelines are primarily health based, but they explicitly link health and environmental issues for every food group, such as proteins, fruits and vegetables or starchy carbohydrates. They advise people on how to choose more sustainable foods, including through labelling and favouring foods with a lower carbon footprint within a food category.
Whilst the diet promoted is not substantially different from that of the Eatwell plate, their dietary advice differs. In terms of specific recommendations for different foods, the UK guidelines are lacking – opting for the terms ‘some’, ‘more’ and ‘less’, rather than quantified amounts. For example, while the UK guidance does provide an overall message to consume less meat, it does not provide specific guidance around consumption of different meat or dairy products (except for limiting red and processed meat to 70 grams per day). Sweden recommends limiting overall meat consumption to 500 grams per week, and also provides quantified guidance on dairy products.
Sweden is one amongst several countries around the world that have begun to incorporate elements of sustainability into their dietary guidelines.
Public procurement policy should be consistent with healthy and sustainable dietary guidelines.
Public procurement of food for hospitals, schools, military, government buildings and prisons should reflect dietary guidelines and deliver in line with strategic targets set through the integrated food strategy.
Impact on climate change, biodiversity, obesity, and nutrition-based noncommunicable diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease) should shape public food procurement decisions. This would have a number of short and long term benefits, including higher nutritional standards for meals served through public bodies, increased societal awareness about what a healthy sustainable diet looks like, improved knowledge of the links between food and health, and reduced healthcare costs.
Due to the size of public sector procurement, changes in requirements are likely to have a wider impact within the food supply chain with positive knock-on impacts on production, including creating a market for locally produced plant foods.
Improving public procurement would include:
- Publishing Government Buying Standards that reflect healthy and sustainable food-based dietary guidelines and integrate with the national food and farming strategy.
- Setting up mandatory reporting mechanisms to ensure compliance and adequate implementation of guidelines in line with targets.
- Local authorities should improve catering they run, e.g. for schools, staff cafeterias and leisure centres, designing and implementing healthier catering schemes to encourage outlets to switch to healthier ingredients, products, menus and cooking practices.
- Local authorities should support the public and voluntary sectors to improve their food offer. They can achieve this by working towards delivering on the Government Buying Standards or running accreditation programmes such as Food for Life Catering Mark or Sustainable Restaurant Association and build these standards into future contracts.
- Ensure plant-rich options are the majority of options across public institutions. Encourage mechanisms to achieve this, such as positive marketing of plant-rich dishes; choice of recipes that are inherently low in meat and dairy and meat-free days.
- Influencing industry buying standards by offering leadership through public procurement.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Procurement Across London and London Borough of Greenwich
Procurement Across London (PAL) is a collaborative project across London local authorities to deliver higher standards within council’s budget. PAL has been used significantly in catering contracts to improve ethical and environmental standard of food provided by councils.
In 2009, the Royal Borough of Greenwich joined PAL to access the food procurement framework, to add volume and spend with other boroughs and therefore negotiate the best value, quality and service. Together, the boroughs working with PAL have established a common standard within the supply chain which has led to a greater ability to procure ethical and sustainable produce.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich and their catering partners supply approximately 25,000 meals daily to schools and leisure outlets. Aligned to their approach to procuring quality produce, they have formed a much closer working partnerships with Food for Life, Sustain, the Marine Stewardship Council, Compassion in World Farming, Vegetarian Society and WRAP. These relationships have all helped build their understanding and ability to provide more sustainable food.The London Borough of Greenwich has been placed at the top of the league table for having the healthiest and most sustainable food in London in both 2017 and 2018.
School food standards should be strong and reflect healthy eating guidelines. A comprehensive food education, from field to plate should be embedded in the school curriculum.
A nationwide school food plan should be put in place to ensure that both eating and learning about food at school reflect healthy and sustainable dietary guidelines. Specifically, this would mean setting well developed, strong standards for school food and delivering a comprehensive food education throughout the school curriculum. Government should take steps to mainstream and integrate progress achieved in individual schools through successful initiatives to improve school food, such as Food for Life or Meat Free Mondays.
Better standards for school food are needed to ensure that school food procurement processes deliver for health and sustainability. The foods served at school throughout the day should be consistent with the food-based dietary guidelines and model healthy and sustainable patterns of eating, reflecting and reinforcing what is learned in the classroom. Schools should be supported to translate school food standards into procurement contract language where necessary, including specifications and other considerations for key food groups and nutrients as well as specifications regarding sustainable sourcing, food preparation and the catering service in general.
Food system education should be integrated across the school curriculum, in ways that meaningfully link the classroom with how food is grown and consumed, particularly in the school canteen. Learning outcomes should focus on the broader impacts of different foods and production systems, including on greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater, land use change and biodiversity loss, and include exploring the steps that can be taken to mitigate those impacts and improve the food system. Food education should also aim to support the development of healthy, sustainable eating habits through practical experiences and skills, including growing and cooking food, eating seasonably and choosing a healthy diet.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Food for Life and Park Community School
The Food for Life Partnership brings together the expertise and enthusiasm of five expert organisations - Soil Association, Focus on Food, Health Education Trust, Garden Organic and, the Royal Society for Public Health Food. Food for Life began in schools where a ‘whole school approach’ was pioneered. The ‘whole school approach’ is the framework that guides the development of a healthy food culture in schools and encompasses the class room dining room and outside area working alongside the curriculum and supporting improving in-school food provision.
Park Community School in Hampshire holds a Food for Life gold award. The school has embedded food education throughout the day. Head Chef - Steven runs the school farm growing a large percentage of the fruit and vegetables which are served from the school kitchens. The school has also reared more than 80 pigs on the farm, the meat from which has been used for school lunches. The school has forged links with local food producers to increase organic produce usage and the school menu often includes up to two meat free days per week.
Agricultural policy delivers healthy food and environmental benefits. Increase the profitability of better farming systems.
Agricultural policy should drive the change in farming and food production that is required to deliver healthy and sustainable diets and environmental benefits. Producers need the right incentives and enabling environment from government to move towards producing healthy, sustainable, affordable food.
Farmers should be incentivised and supported to transition to better farming practices, which will deliver public benefits for health, environment, biodiversity, animal welfare, pollution control and climate resilience. In practice, this includes increasing the production for human consumption of vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fruit and pulses that grow well in the UK. It also means driving a transition to ‘better’ livestock farming that delivers a smaller amount of higher value meat and dairy, and moving away from intensive modes of production.
Enabling conditions will be critical. Specifically, this includes:
- Develop, implement and evaluate a plan to deliver, among other, increasing biodiversity and tree cover, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, water and air pollution. Link target evaluation with aims set out in the national food strategy.
- Link future farm payments to delivering on strategic objectives
- Facilitate sustainable horticulture and plant protein production. Invest in public funded research, particularly on varieties that are climate tolerant, and map suitable areas of production.
- Research and promote alternatives to imported soya and grain production for feed.
- Maximise environment scheme take up in farms
- Ensure the future profitability of sustainable farms. Provide sufficient finance for the transition, including payment for environmental services and a transition to mixed farming and agroecology, in recognition of its higher welfare and improved sustainability. Mapping of suitable areas for nature friendly livestock farming
- Provision of quality extension services (independent advice and training) for farmers to transition to better systems.
- Linking with other departments to provide a market for plant foods, i.e. leveraging public procurement policy, and consumption based support, such as through vouchers for those on low incomes.
Develop a comprehensive land-use plan that supports the strategic objectives of the national food strategy.
A comprehensive land use plan would optimise the use of the land to deliver on major strategic objectives, including biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, water and air pollution, food security and population health.
It should include guidelines for agricultural policy, with the aim to promote increasing tree cover, shifting livestock farming to areas where it is ecologically suitable, support for mixed farming systems and support for the expansion of sustainable horticulture.
Mechanisms to ensure that local planning decisions are based around what is sustainable should be included.
A comprehensive land use plan would include:
- Review of agricultural classification taking into account climate change scenarios, the need for a more diverse, sustainable and healthy diet, and the need for land for carbon sequestration and biodiversity (e.g. afforestation)
- Highlighting suitable areas for afforestation and nature friendly farming to provide biodiversity and carbon benefits.
Local authorities should use their power and influence to encourage healthy food environments and deliver better access to vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fruit and pulses across the population.
Many communities do not have easy access to healthy fresh vegetables and fruit locally. Buying food at convenience stores and takeaway outlets, which sell a range of heavily processed foods, is the only local option for many people. Local authorities have an important role to play in providing the right environment for people to eat healthily and sustainably. They control planning, public and environmental health, leisure and recreation.
Planning and licensing law should provide specific guidance to local authority planning committees to:
- Monitor the location of new convenience stores and type to ensure all communities are able to purchase fresh vegetables and fruit locally.
- Discourage the proliferation of hot food takeaway outlets. Ban those within close proximity to schools and public buildings and use licensing to encourage them to improve the healthiness and sustainability of food sold. Consider issuing supplementary guidance on healthier foods and advertising for existing takeaway restaurants, specifically in areas around schools, parks and where access to healthier alternatives is limited.
- Put support and incentives in place through planning or access to land and premises for healthier affordable retail e.g. greengrocers, co-operatives and street markets, especially in deprived areas.
- Ensure that the public health team is consulted on planning applications, including at pre-application stage.
- Make provision for more community growing spaces, including as a requirement in new developments.
Local authorities should develop coherent policy on future corporate partnerships or sponsorships and advertising that welcomes opportunities for investment, whilst avoiding those that promote unhealthy foods and drinks.
Local authorities should use their influence to encourage businesses to accept Healthy Start Vouchers, and support campaigns with a health and sustainability aim e.g. Veg Cities or Meat Free Mondays.
Finally, local authorities should support and promote local voluntary and community food partnerships and projects that encourage a healthy food culture, such as Sustainable Food Cities.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Islington targeted approach to takeaways near secondary schools and in planning
The Healthier Catering Commitment was initially promoted in Islington through Hearty Lives Islington, a British Heart Foundation grant-funded project, and is now funded by Islington Council. The cost is approximately £125 per outlet plus the associated administration, monitoring and evaluation costs. There are currently over 240 businesses signed up (16 per cent of all catering outlets), serving approximately 26,600 meals a day.
In 2013 Islington ran a pilot targeting takeaways within 500 metres of secondary schools and of the 25 initially targeted 16 signed up. In 2014 the secondary schools project was rolled out across the whole borough. In total 90 hot food takeaways within 500 metres of 11 secondary schools are now aware of the Healthier Catering Commitment and around 70 have signed up and meet the required criteria. Businesses include pizza premises, fish and chip shops, kebab shops and sandwich bars. The work is promoted to young people through the Youth Health Forum and to schools via Junior Citizens for primary school age children and through secondary school food technology teachers.
In parallel, the new Supplementary Planning Document approved in April 2016 restricts the opening of new hot food takeaways within 200 metres of schools and will only grant planning/change of use permission to outlets that have a minimum three star Food Hygiene Rating and gain the Healthier Catering Commitment award within six months.
The council is using its procurement powers to promote further take up of the Healthier Catering Commitment. Children’s centres with cafes are contractually required to have the award and adventure playgrounds and green space concessions are expected to work towards it.
Healthy, sustainable food should be affordable across the population.
Create mechanisms or subsidies at consumption level to promote better access to healthy, sustainable food for everyone. Price and affordability are key obstacles limiting access to a healthy sustainable diet, rich in vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, plant proteins with less and better meat and dairy.
Further research and modelling of this area is needed, with the aim of mainstreaming access to healthy, sustainable foods. For the greatest impact, future schemes should aim towards universal provision across the population. Consumption-based food subsidies would support the development of the market for plant foods and better meat produced locally.
There are some examples of schemes to increase access to healthy foods for key populations on low incomes, such as Healthy Start in the UK. Aimed at pregnant women and new parents living on very low incomes, the program has important limitations in scope and outcomes. The Government should aim to expand eligibility to all families in poverty, and invest to vastly improve delivery and take up.
Improving the affordability of fruit and vegetables in the UK would mean:
- The Department of Health and Social Care should fund a national programme to ensure that staff in health, social care and early years settings actively help all eligible people claim Healthy Start vouchers. This programme could be funded from the underspend, estimated at £28.6 million in 2018.
- Progressing a public consultation on Healthy Start to support families on low incomes, as per the second chapter of the Childhood Obesity Plan.
- Exploration of alternative, comprehensive mechanisms or subsidies at consumption level to make healthy, sustainable food affordable for everyone.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg Project
Rose Vouchers are a local, charity led project that helps families on low incomes to buy a good variety of buy fresh fruit and vegetables at local markets. The scheme is based on a US model that doubles the value of food benefits when they are spent at local farmers’ markets.
Working with local children’s centres, the Rose vouchers scheme identifies families eligible for Healthy Start and gives them weekly vouchers on top of Healthy Start money. The vouchers can only be redeemed for fruit and vegetables on participating stalls at local markets. Stall holders claim back the value of the vouchers from the rent charged for their pitch.
Rose Vouchers has been running since 2014. It runs projects in the London Boroughs of Hackney, Lambeth, Hammersmith & Fulham, Barnsley in South Yorkshire and Liverpool. Over 1000 families have benefited from the scheme since it started. Evaluations show improved diet and food security for families involved
All future trade deals should be audited for their impacts on human and planetary health, and avoid erosion of existing standards.
A robust mechanism for auditing new trade deals should be put in place to assess their impact on a range of measures in human health and environmental impact. This should include the risk of antimicrobial resistance and targets on greenhouse gas emission reductions. Trade deals must uphold and promote high standards of production and prevent lower standard imports. They should maintain or improve current high standards of environmental protection, animal welfare, climate resilience and workers’ rights in the UK.
Export policy and product promotion should be consistent with the national food strategy, and sensitive to health and environmental impacts in the UK abroad.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: EU trade policy
The EU’s trade policy is currently the best example of successfully enforcing standards of environmental protection, animal welfare and climate resilience in trade. Other countries, such as Chile and Ecuador, that have tried to implement mandatory labelling and limit food items based on population health concerns have had trouble with competition challenges brought up through the WTO.
Producers & Processors
Farms should maximise plant production in a sustainable way.
The shift towards diets based mostly on plants will drive a huge transformation of the agricultural landscape and supply chains. Local food production needs to transform to deliver food that is healthier and more sustainable.
A key aspect of this is growing more plant foods for human consumption in the UK, including vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fruit and pulses. Given the need of change and growing public understanding of this, it is crucial that farmers start preparing to meet this demand now and build the infrastructure for future plant production.
Being sensitive to the limits set by local ecological conditions, farmers can explore how farms can deliver more plant production, by:
- Assessing the suitability of the land for sustainable horticultural production.
- Investing in suitable crop production.
- Focus on soil quality: explore options for soil improvement, such as mixed farming and other ways of returning nutrients to the soil.
- Engage to develop supply chain infrastructure and logistics to support the shipping of larger quantities of plant foods.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Hodmedods
Hodmedod is a small but growing independent business, founded in 2012. They have harnessed the opportunity to produce and sell more beans and pulses into British kitchens.
Hodmedods works directly with British farmers to produce and source a range of pulses and grains, with a commitment to providing wholesome quality food that"s more sustainably produced.
Hodmedods grow beans and pulses are not only nutritious but also good for the soil and bees. They are helping to turn the tide on the narrow range of arable crops grown and eaten in the UK.
They have recently added lentils to the list of crops they produce which have many advantages both for soil and nutrition. They are a low-input crop for less intensive farming systems - they fix their own nitrogen and suffer few pests and diseases and require less water than many other crops).
Farmers should deliver the highest standards of environmental protection, animal welfare and climate resilience.
We need a shift from intensive, very impactful forms of livestock production that rely on high amounts of inputs to farming in tune with the land, delivering benefits for nature and favouring more natural diets from local sources, upscaling and replicating best farming practice.
This implies moving away from a business model based around high productivity towards one based around quality, with fewer inputs and animals. In practice, this entails a continued mainstreaming of schemes with ‘better’ production standards, such as Pasture for Life or Organic, leading to an increase in the supply of better meat and dairy.
Progress can be made by:
- Implementing management to make the farming system more nature friendly.
- Reduce stocking levels to suit the local conditions and focus on quality and profit margins, not yield.
- Consider joining a certification scheme, such as Organic and Pasture for Life.
- Support research to build the evidence around the health and environmental benefits of better farming systems, including on-farm measurement and evaluation of impacts on soil, air and water.
- Support exchange of best practice between farmers. Offer expertise.
- Support and invest in direct models of procurement, including marketing directly to local customers, establishing links with communities, or joining a cooperative.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Pasture-Fed Livestock Association
The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA) certifies meat and dairy raised exclusively on pasture, and promotes the wider environmental and animal welfare benefits that pastured livestock systems represent. There are currently 425 PFLA members, 83 are certified Pasture for Life, with 32 certified butchers and 4 certified creameries.
The PFLA has developed a unique certification called ‘Pasture for Life’ which their farmer and retailer members can use to guarantee their meat and dairy has come from animals that have been 100% grass-fed. Have a look at the PFLA website for where to buy from farms, farmers markets and butchers, also look out for Pasture For Life from online retailers such as Farmdrop.
Production standards are based upon the animal’s natural diet and include guidance on the management of natural and semi-natural grasslands and traditional hay meadows, as well as important advice on aspects such as the timing of farming operations to ensure minimal disturbance to nesting birds. Certified Farms must also be able to demonstrate high standards of animal welfare.
Make use of opportunities to diversify farming incomes by delivering public goods, such as improving farm biodiversity, soil health and forest cover.
Explore what sort of ecosystem services farms can deliver and invest in diversification, which can include:
- Moving to a mixed farming system which makes the best use of nutrients and improves soil quality.
- Implementing land management changes to help flood management.
- Providing additional green infrastructure. From small-scale spaces such as hedgerows, stone walls and green roofs to very large areas such as high nature value farmland, multi-use forests and Natura 2000 areas.
- Reducing stocking densities in line with the carrying capacity of the farm to reduce costs and environmental pressures
- Collaborate with other farming organisations to promote better farming, including engaging with government.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Nature Friendly Farmers
Tony Davies is a livestock farmer and a Nature Friendly Farmers Network member. He rears sheep in the mountains of Mid Wales. He has a passion for sustainable farming and sees himself as a steward of the landscape.
Tony explained: "Under the old headage payments, which ended in 2005, we were financially encouraged to keep more sheep than the farm could sustainably feed. This created a necessity for animal medicines and antibiotics, fertilisers to increase grass growth and cereals to feed the extra animals. Using fertilisers increased costs and damaged traditional hay meadows creating a monoculture of ryegrass-dominated swards. As well as increasing costs, buying in cereals meant that other land (which could grow crops for humans) was being used to feed our sheep in the mountains."
"I am a business-minded farmer, but these practices never sat right with me. I reduced numbers of sheep by 60% to a level that balances with the natural grass growth of the farm. With no fertiliser and a very small feed bill our costs have plummeted and the business is more profitable. Less meat is produced but the pasture fed animals produce meat which is healthier for the consumers. We have also seen a huge increase in biodiversity."
Food companies should be tracked by investors on their transition to more sustainable production and consumption. Asset owners provide full disclosure of investments and assets in meat and dairy.
Having consistent and comparable metrics that companies report on is important to allow investors to understand which companies are performing better, and which companies represent the greatest risks.
Investors should consider ongoing and prospective investments in meat and dairy production and consumption in the context of a transition to increasingly plant rich diets and the need to halve levels of meat and dairy consumption by 2030. Risks linked to climate change, including production volatility will become increasingly important considerations.
Risk evaluation should include:
- Building increased investor awareness of the risks and opportunities that exist for meat and dairy companies.
- Full disclosure of investments and assets in meat and dairy by asset owners, such as banks, pension funds and insurers.
- Development of metrics to ensure consistent and comparable reporting by food companies to track their transition to ‘less and better’ meat and dairy. These should extend to the entire animal protein value chain, including animal feed producers, meat producers, retailers, caterers and restaurants. Measure progress on sustainability targets developed for their sector.
- Consider existing or prospective investments within companies engaged in meat and dairy at risk. In particular for those with the worst records for environmental, animal welfare and human health impacts.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: FAIRR Initiative – Producer Protein Index
The FAIRR Initiative is a collaborative investor network of 250+ institutional investors with around $15tn in combined assets that has been engaging global food companies across the supply chain on a range of ESG issues since 2015.
FAIRR produces research and facilitates collaborative engagements with over 100 companies across the entire animal protein supply chain worth more than $2.5tn in market cap to improve management of material ESG risks and opportunities and improve fund performance.
In 2018, FAIRR published the Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index, a benchmark that assesses the 60 of the world’s largest meat, dairy and fish farming companies on material environmental, social and governance issues. The Index will be published on an annual basis and the 2019 iteration will be published in the first week of September 2019.
In 2018, the Index showed investors:
- That 60% of meat and fish companies in the Index – 36 large companies worth $152 billion – were categorised as ‘high risk’ based on their scores against eight ESG risk factors.
- That high risk businesses include major suppliers to McDonalds and KFC, including Chinese firm Fujian Sunner and Indian firm Venky’s.
- That the sector is creating a health risk by not responding to antibiotics crisis: 77% of sector rank ‘high risk’ on antibiotics stewardship, with little or no measures in place to reduce excessive use of antibiotics – despite emerging regulation on issue.
- Businesses demonstrating best practice in areas such as management and disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions and exposure to alternative proteins.
Companies should engage to support the delivery of sustainable diets. Investments should shift to drive a transition to more sustainable food production and consumption.
Investors should engage with companies across the value chain, including producers, wholesalers, retailers, caterers and restaurant chains, to promote healthy and sustainable foods. Focus on the ones where a change in practice would make the most difference.
Key risk considerations for investors:
- Is the company assessing risks and opportunities that exist in the transition to healthy and sustainable diets, and those that exist if food production volatility increases through climate change?
- Is the company committed to, and setting targets for, increasing the proportion of plant foods within its portfolio?
- Is the company using its brand to promote healthy and sustainable diets and lifestyles, as well as educating people on better options?
Drive change by modifying access to capital, through both equity (where investors have shares in companies) and debt (e.g. corporate bonds or loans for infrastructure), in order to:
- Ensure companies have transparency and policies in place for key impacts from antibiotic use, animal feed and animal welfare. This will require involvement across the value chain.
- Drive a transition to ‘better’ meat and dairy: engage with meat and dairy companies to improve the sustainability of their production and the provision of environmental services, such as improving farm biodiversity, soil health and forest cover.
- Drive a transition to less meat and dairy: Encourage food companies to diversify their business models to transition towards producing and selling more plant foods. Beyond investments in lab-based meats, the focus should be on increasing output of plant foods, for instance by integrating vegetables and plant proteins into product ranges (retailers), or diversifying production into vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fruit and pulses wherever possible (producers).
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Plating up progress
Plating Up Progress is focusing on institutional investor engagement with UK food retailers, caterers and restaurant chains. These sectors are both the gatekeepers to the food we eat and can influence supply chain sustainability and, as such, can act as a litmus test for the shift towards ‘less and better’.
Plating Up Progress has mapped out the most likely risks and opportunities for these sectors in the transition to healthy and sustainable diets, as well as the system-side risks that will impact investors unless we take urgent action.
A forthcoming 2019 report and multi-stakeholder event will highlight the gaps in targets for these sectors, focusing mainly on the required dietary shifts. It will also be relating these gaps to risks and opportunities and making a call to action for urgent investor engagement with businesses to set appropriate targets and track progress. Future work will be geared towards improving investor engagement with companies on these issues and an annual report tracking improvement across the sectors.