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A new plant-based organisation has been established in the UK with big-name founding members such as Oatly and Alpro. The Plant-based Food Alliance UK will serve as a “voice for Britain’s growing plant-based food and drink sector” and is launched together with Upfield, The Vegan Society and ProVeg UK.
A new coalition of vegan food players have come together to set up the Plant-based Food Alliance UK, an organisation to support the plant-based shift in Britain. It has been launched by major dairy-free players including soy brand Alpro, oat milk giant Oatly, and Upfield, the maker of vegan butter and spreads Becel and Flora, as well as NGOs The Vegan Society and ProVeg UK.
‘People-powered transition to a sustainable, healthier food system’
Commenting on the launch, the organisation’s CEO Marisa Heath says that the alliance represents an “exciting opportunity to support [the] people-powered transition to a more sustainable, healthier food system, and to attract more innovation and investment in the UK.”
“Preparing now for the shift towards plant-based foods will also shore up our national food security for future generations,” Heath added, citing the UK’s new national food strategy, which recommends a 30% cut in meat consumption to meet the country’s health and sustainability goals.
The alliance, which brings together plant-based businesses, charities and civil society groups together, will aim to assist in the transition by “promoting the potential” of vegan food “across every part of the food value chain”, said the organisation in a statement.
The creation of this UK group comes after a similar European multi-stakeholder group dedicated to plant-based foods was launched last year, with founding members such as Nestlé, Beyond Meat, Heura, Oatly and Upfield. Similar coalitions have also been established elsewhere, such as US-based Plant Based Food Association (PBFA) and the Alternative Proteins Council in Australia and New Zealand.
UK Plant-based Food Charter
One of the first initiatives the alliance will launch is a new UK Plant-based Food Charter, which will help businesses and authorities to work together to encourage the adoption of sustainable vegan diets.
The charter is expected to promote transparency in environmental labelling of food and drinks to help consumers make informed decisions and compare plant-based alternatives to animal-based products, as well as launch public health awareness campaigns to educate shoppers about the advantages of a vegan diet.
Other actions that the organisation has planned include providing support for farmers making the shift away from animal agriculture, and helping existing crop growers to scale and meet the fast-rising demand for plant-based foods.
“Plant-based food and drink offers opportunities to every part of the UK food supply chain, including consumers, farmers, producers, retailers, and exporters. We look forward to working together with businesses and the Government to make the most of this potential,” shared Heath.
The establishment of the Plant-based Food Alliance UK comes as demand for vegan products in the UK and around the world continues to grow. Propelled by Covid-19, which has reignited concerns over health, sustainability, and animal welfare, plant-based food sales in Europe have grown nearly 50% over the past two years.
In the UK, around a quarter of the population say they have cut back on their meat and dairy intake ever since Covid-19 hit.
“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,” commented Heath. “This is a change we’re seeing in every demographic of the population.”
Lead image courtesy of Alpro.