Caroline Lucas MP wants Parliament to follow up its declaration of a climate and nature emergency last year by making its catering services more sustainable.
She has written to the House of Commons catering services asking them to reverse their decision to drop out of Soil Association's Food for Life programme, which paradoxically happened at the very moment that Parliament declared a climate and environment emergency.
Food for Life standards promote locally sourced and ethical ingredients, supporting the local economy and protecting the environment.
Caroline Lucas has also proposed that the catering services adopt the food sector recommendations of the Better by half: a roadmap to less and better, launched at Westminster last summer, which sets out steps to cut meat and dairy consumption by half in the UK by 2030, with a focus on less and better animal products.
We aim to change eating habits so that UK agriculture (which accounts for 9% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions) can play its part in reaching net zero. Halving meat and dairy consumption would also improve people’s health, land use, animal welfare and social justice.
Caroline Lucas said: 'At the very moment when Parliament declared a climate and nature emergency, the House of Commons catering services dropped out of the Soil Association’s Food for Life bronze scheme – which was such a disappointing step.'
'The catering service has done a lot of good work on sustainable sourcing, but now is the time to ramp that up. The public sector can and should be leading the way on climate and nature-friendly diets – showing how consuming less-but-better meat and dairy supports British farmers and farming and would contribute proactively to an agro-ecological transition.'
Caroline Lucas led on a campaign to reduce the use of disposable cups in the catering services. A 25p levy on disposable coffee cups in late 2018 resulted in a near-75% drop in waste, even as sales rose.
Caroline said: 'The success of the levy shows that Parliament can lead the way in environmental sustainability. It’s now time to show the same leadership in the rest of the catering services.'