Power Protein: Real Madrid Partners With Meatless Farm To Increase Plant-Based Foods In Players’ Diets

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Football team Real Madrid recently joined forces with plant-based meat brand, Meatless Farm, to reduce meat consumption and encourage sustainable eating habits.

Spanish football club Real Madrid recently partnered with British-based Meatless Farm in an effort to demonstrate how plant-based foods can be a part of a ‘balanced diet’, help minimize the environmental impact of food, and promote cultural change for one’s wellbeing.

This alliance comes after the global success of Netflix’s 2018 The Game Changers documentary, a film that helped change millions of minds about plant protein for professional athletes. The football club’s nutritionists will work together with Meatless Farm to promote sustainable eating habits among the team, in an effort to show the world that plant-based eating is also great on an individual level and can have several performance benefits.

Meatless Farm’s existing range includes ground meat, burger patties, sausage links and sausage patties – all of which are 100% plant-based, gluten-free and made with non-GMO ingredients. 

The players will also be encouraged to share their experiences of how they feel minimising their meat consumption and increasing plant-based options in their meals.

In a press release seen by Green Queen, Real Madrid’s Director of Institutional Relations, Emilio Butragueño said that Meatless Farm embraces both sustainability and nutrition. “Both of which are two fundamental components of Real Madrid and our business strategy. We as a global team have an important role to play in engaging with society to make real changes that will help create a more sustainable world and improve personal health and performance.”

Meatless Farm embraces both sustainability and nutrition. “Both of which are two fundamental components of Real Madrid and our business strategy. We as a global team have an important role to play in engaging with society to make real changes that will help create a more sustainable world and improve personal health and performance

Emilio Butragueño, Director of Institutional Relations, Real Madrid

Real Madrid also recently joined the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, thus becoming the first football team to do so. The club is also working on making the Santiago Bernabeu stadium that is presently under redevelopment, more efficient and sustainable.

Founder of Meatless Farm, Morten Toft Bech spoke about how there is still so much to be done to encourage more consumers to switch to plant-based diets. “We know there is still a huge gap in consumer understanding of the positive impact reducing meat consumption can have on the environment so we have to reach far beyond vegetarians and vegans and significantly increase the ‘meat-lessers’ – encouraging everyone to reduce their meat consumption and increase their plant-based eating. For example, in a country like the U.K., we could reduce around 8% of the country’s total emissions if we all had just one less meat meal per week.”

In December of last year, Meatless Farms announced its expanded retail and e-commerce distribution in the U.S. and will soon be launching a dozen new products within the next six months and how it plans to raise US$75 million in 2021 to drive its growth globally, along with plans of launching 12 new products.

Speaking on the partnership with Real Madrid, Bech said: “We are all familiar with Real Madrid’s success on the pitch and that comes from dedication and excellence behind the scenes – they excel in nutrition expertise and performance analysis. On top of that, they are one of the leading clubs for their sustainability commitments and research shows that their fans have a keen interest in health and environmental concerns, so the club shares our values but importantly so do their fans. Real Madrid has got the right values, ambition, expertise, reach and influence to help create a global movement for change so we can’t wait to work together on achieving these goals.”

Last year, Liverpool Football Club partnered with meat-free giant Quorn making them their official sustainable partner and through the Reds Go Green initiative, in which the club aims to reduce its environmental impact by limiting single-use plastic and waste. Apart from this, when doors open for supporters, they will be given options to try Quorn’s vegetarian and vegan products. In addition, the company is working with Liverpool’s nutrition team to introduce more plant-based options for players.

new large-scale population-level study in the U.K. found a link between meat consumption and nine non-cancerous illnesses – many of them not considered in previous research, including pneumonia, diverticular disease, colon polyps and diabetes. 

Experts said that these latest findings add to the plethora of data linking high meat consumption with negative health outcomes. However, plant-based diets tend to lower these risks, for instance, the U.S. National Cancer Institute study found an “inverse association” between higher consumption of plant-based foods and heart disease mortality rates with the most prominent inverse links recorded in the replacement of eggs and red meat with plant proteins.

With plant-based sales seeing triple-digit growth in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, from the U.K. to Hong Kong, consumers are purchasing safer, healthier and more sustainable options, with the latest data reporting that the majority plan to continue doing so even after the pandemic subsides

Lead image courtesy of Yorkshire Evening Post.

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