Over 50 years of campaigning thoughtfully and peacefully to improve the lives of farmed animals, has brought us here. The global climate, nature and health emergency we are currently witnessing has brought us here. We are
As the leading international animal welfare environmental charity, we are urging companies to take a holistic system-wide approach accounting for their animal footprint on the climate, nature and health crisis. We are particularly keen to discuss with businesses the integration of measurable targets for the reduction of meat and other livestock products in corporate sustainability plans.
The stability of the planet is in peril. Our food system is failing. Our dependence on intensive animal agriculture has played an outsized role in this failure. In the need to change, food businesses are presented with an incredible opportunity to help set a more sustainable course where people, planet and animals can thrive and live in harmony. Together, we have forged new paths that are set to improve the lives of over two billion animals. We look forward to building on that. The power of our partnership is immense and by setting measurable and meaningful targets to reduce the production and consumption of animal-based products, coupled with investment in higher welfare and regenerative farming practices we can, quite literally, change the world.
Compassion is evolving its work programme with food companies to deliver a more resilient and sustainable food system which addresses the needs of people, planet, and animals.
Through extensive stakeholder collaboration, key interventions, and practical tools, we will help your business evaluate its current model, identify priority areas, build the business case for change and set strategies that are fit for the future.
Over time, these strategies will reduce the production and consumption of farmed animals, rebalance the animal protein in your consumer offer and help to regenerate nature and restore biodiversity.
Our team of experts will help you measure progress, deliver higher animal welfare and remain relevant and credible to customers whose attitudes and tastes are changing at pace, thus protecting profitability, market performance and brand reputation.
This is an exciting time for food businesses – for innovation, for investment and for being a part of a transformation towards a ‘planetary resilient’ food system.
Humanity poses a threat to the stability of the planet… We need to urgently redefine the food system and start the transformation towards a planetary health diet for all
Professor Johan Rockström, Stockholm Resilience Centre, speaking at EAT and The Rockefeller Foundation’s virtual event, 24 June 20201
Scientific research supports the call for urgent fundamental changes in the way we produce and consume food for the sake of our own health, the climate and the environment. We must transform our food system if we are to address the multi-dimensional challenges of producing sufficient, safe and nutritious food for all within the safe operating space of all nine planetary boundaries.2
Credit: J. Lokrantz/Azote based on Steffen et al. 2015.
As of 2015, four of the nine planetary boundaries – climate change, loss of biosphere integrity (biodiversity), land-system change, altered biogeochemical cycles (phosphorus and nitrogen particularly from industrial agriculture) – had already been crossed, as a result of human activity.
It would indeed be beneficial, for both climate and human health, if people in many rich countries consumed less meat, and if politics would create appropriate incentives to that effect.
Hans-Otto Pörtner, ecologist, co-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
Our failing food system
Until now, undernutrition and obesity have been seen as polar opposites of either too few or too many calories. In reality, they are both driven by the same unhealthy, inequitable food systems.
Prof Boyd Swinburn, University of Auckland, Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on Obesity3
Despite years of increased investment, research and development and technological advancement, there remain significant failings in our food system.
Right now, more than 820 million people do not have enough to eat, whilst according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) the world wastes approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of edible food every year (FAO, 2016).4
What that FAO calculation has not taken into account is the biggest single waste of food: feeding human-edible crops to industrial livestock. Cereals, soya and palm are fed to intensively reared livestock, who convert them inefficiently into meat, milk and eggs. Protein conversion ranges from as low as 4 percent for beef, to 25% for eggs.5 In addition, almost a fifth of the world’s total catch of wild fish is processed into fishmeal and fish oil, the majority of which are used to feed farmed fish.6 Through this process, enough food to feed four billion people is wasted. Enough to sustain more than half of humanity today.
At the same time two billion men, women and children are overweight or obese7, with poor diets being responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor8. The overconsumption of meat, dairy and eggs in developed regions exceeds both dietary guidelines and new planetary diet guidelines.
The United Nations in 2016, reported that food production, when not sustainably managed, is a major driver of biodiversity loss and polluter of air, fresh water and oceans, as well as a leading source of soil degradation and greenhouse gas emissions.9 The way we produce food also contributes to antimicrobial resistance10 and non-communicable diseases, as well as emerging and foodborne diseases, and provides poor conditions for workers and vulnerability to price squeeze from input suppliers, processors and retailers. It also delivers poor animal welfare.
The impact of intensive animal farming
The climate, nature and health emergency we face is undoubtedly caused by multiple factors, a major one of which is intensive animal farming.
Issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss and public health can be collectively addressed through the elimination of factory farming and the move towards high welfare regenerative farming systems. Continue reading to learn more about the scale of the impact of factory farming.
Unhealthy diets are acknowledged as the largest global cause of disease, with the over-consumption of sugar, salt and saturated fat in highly processed foods, coupled with inadequate consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, the overconsumption of red and processed meat – only made possible by intensive animal farming – contributes to heart disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
An estimated two billion people – around a quarter of the world’s population - suffer from severe or moderate food insecurity.11 despite enough calories being produced to feed more than twice the world’s population.12
Every year there are around 600 million cases of foodborne diseases and 420,000 deaths13 predominantly from Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. Coli. In addition, agricultural intensification is associated with 50% of emerging zoonotic diseases since 1940. Zoonotic transmission is responsible for three out of every four new or emerging infectious diseases in humans. SARS, EBOLA, and HIV are linked to the consumption and close contact with the body fluids of wild animals (civets, bats, and primates, respectively).
Around one-third of the world’s population relies on farming, livestock, forests or fishing for food and income.14 The livelihoods of many farming communities are adversely affected by intensive animal farming. These include negative impacts on employment as industrial agriculture needs less labour, lack of effective wealth distribution and a reliance on costly inputs.
Intensive animal farming threatens several planetary boundaries, including climate change, biogeochemical flows (nitrogen and phosphorus), land-system change, freshwater use, and the loss of biodiversity. If we are to avoid dangerous levels of climate change, all sectors, including energy and transport, will need to reduce their emissions.
Intensive livestock production is already responsible for 14.5% of global anthropogenic greenhouse emissions. Under a business as usual model of food production, in which meat and dairy consumption rises in line with a growing global population and rising GDPs, the agriculture sector alone would emit enough greenhouse gasses to take up the entire two degrees Celsius emissions budget by 2050.15
A range of studies show that a substantial decrease in the consumption of meat and dairy is urgently needed if the emissions from food and farming are to be reduced below their current levels and that a shift to more plant-based diets is essential if we are to meet the Paris Climate Agreement targets.
In addition, the intensification of crop production for animal feed has accelerated land and soil degradation – on a business-as-usual model, the UN warns of just sixty years’ productivity left in the world’s soils.
Around one million plant and animal species are now threatened with extinction16, with intensive animal production a primary factor.17 As meat consumption rises, so farmland expands depriving wildlife of their natural habitat and bringing them into dangerously close proximity to human activity providing the perfect opportunity for pathogens to spread, some of which are zoonotic and pose a threat of pandemics.
Industrial livestock production systems have been designed with little thought to the behavioural needs and wants of animals. The resulting systems rely heavily on technology, the prophylactic use of antibiotics to help prevent disease, genetic selection beyond the physiological limits of the animal, and a high-volume, low-margin economic model.
Intensive systems are largely barren confinement systems, such as cages and crates or highly stocked barns or feedlots, with few provisions for physical comfort or occupation. They frequently deprive animals from the comfort of their own kind, through single penning, and are reliant on routine mutilations to prevent the worse behavioural effects of boredom and frustration such as tail biting and feather pecking. They are usually, but not confined to, large scale operations.
Globally, more than 77 billion land animals are reared for food each year, with two out of three of those animals reared in intensive systems. Estimates of farmed fish are between 50 and 160 billion.
While progress is being made towards incremental change such as the removal of cages for hens and sows, and the reduction of high stocking densities for chicken in some parts of the world; a greater degree of intensification is occurring in others.
Farm animals and fish are sentient beings capable of feeling pain and emotions such as depression or joy. They deserve to lead a good quality of life, one not only free from suffering, but one that provides opportunities for positive experiences such as comfort, pleasure, play; to learn, be confident and have a sense of choice. It is our ethical responsibility and moral imperative in which we all have a part to play.
Despite the compelling evidence from multiple sectors, there has been limited action to begin to deliver a healthy and sustainable food system. Intensive animal farming continues to consume vast resources, including cereals and soy, to produce animal feed. Forests are destroyed and re-purposed into farmland and the intensification of crop production which, with its use of monocultures and agro-chemicals, has led to overuse and pollution of ground- and surface-water18, soil degradation19, 20, biodiversity loss21, and air pollution22. Policy makers may recognise the serious environmental crises we face but many are reluctant to acknowledge the part played by intensive animal production in generating these crises.
To address this, we need to RETHINK our food system and work collectively and creatively on the transition that will move us all towards a more humane, resilient, and sustainable food system.
The way forward
The EAT-Lancet Commission report (2019) on ‘Food, Planet, Health’ , provided the first full scientific review for a healthy and sustainable diet and detailed the changes necessary to create a sustainable food future. The Commission’s reference diet or planetary health diet, provides a science-based framework for a flexible solution to stay within planetary boundaries, that will feed up to 10 billion people by 2050, limit a global temperature rise to less than two degrees and ensure optimal human health and nutritional guidelines. It also allows for adaptation to dietary needs, personal preferences and cultural traditions.
The planetary health diet is a global reference diet for adults that is symbolically represented by half a plate of fruits and vegetables. The other half consists of primarily whole grains, plant proteins (beans, lentils, pulses, nuts), unsaturated plant oils, modest amounts of meat and dairy, and some added sugars and starchy vegetables.
The planetary health diet represents a dramatic shift in consumption patterns with developed countries seeing a significant reduction in the amount of animal-based protein and a subsequent increase in plant-based proteins . It is recognised there are different challenges in developing countries with a need for local strategies to be devised in line with EAT Lancet dietary recommendations regarding sufficient protein intake. All regions, however, need to increase the consumption of vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains and nuts.
Alongside a significant reduction in the production of animals, Compassion and others are urging a further and equally dramatic transformation in production systems. All animals should be reared in higher welfare systems and there should be a significant move towards more regenerative agricultural practices.
CHANGE IS POSSIBLE
Just as our current food system changed over 75 years ago in response to post World War ll food shortages, it can evolve again - to a more innovative, technological, humane and climate friendly system. It has to evolve. The current model is unsustainable.
Key to achieving this would be the “rebalancing of protein” from animal-based foods to a more plant-based diet including an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption. We anticipate reduction in animal-based consumption levels to vary according to regions as specified in the EAT-Lancet planetary health diet. Rebalancing the high levels of animal protein consumption in the US, Europe and other high consuming regions is essential for future sustainability.
Some governments and indeed cities are already calling for reduced meat consumption in their national dietary guidelines and are actively recommending plant-based sources of protein rather than animal-based.
A reduction in global consumption of animal protein by 53% by 2050 and the provision for livestock to forage and eat pasture and farming by-products, rather than human-edible crops in factory farms, would have the following impacts by 2050 compared to a business as usual approach.24
Source: Schader C et al. 2015. Impacts of feeding less food-competing feedstuffs to livestock on global food system sustainability. J. R. Soc. Interface 12: 20150891. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2015.0891
By adopting further regenerative farming practices, we will amplify these impacts.
The power of business
The decisions food businesses make and the speed in which they are taken are crucial in addressing this enormous challenge of feeding the growing population within fixed planetary boundaries. Whether through sourcing, pricing, marketing or product positioning - choice editing at scale – all these decisions impact heavily on our health, the environment and on the welfare of animals across the globe.
Leading businesses are already harnessing nature and technology to meet growing consumer needs in this space.
New plant-based products, cellular meat alternatives and innovative menu suggestions are being developed at pace across the food industry as food businesses look to ‘add’ protein alternatives.
Many others are investing heavily in improving animal welfare through adopting cage free policies and through initiatives like the Better Chicken Commitment.
However, few businesses are ‘replacing’ animal-based protein altogether.
Continue reading to see what companies are doing in this space.
What we offer
Rethinking Food aims to work in collaboration with leading food companies on the development of a resilient food system. One that relies less on industrial agriculture and animal products - to one that is more plant-forward, inclusive and regenerative - restoring nature and biodiversity and meeting the needs of people and animals within our planetary boundaries.
Our unique approach looks at opportunities to significantly improve animal welfare and rebalance the protein offer to consumers, for a food system fit for future.
Wherever you are on your journey Compassion has something to offer:
We will help you make the business case for change, identifying areas for improving animal welfare and rebalancing your protein portfolio, all tailored to your specific company requirements.
We offer a GAP analysis service for your business, to measure your animal footprint and welfare standards, and identify areas for incremental change, to help rebalance your protein footprint and create a more resilient and sustainable supply chain.
Tools & Framework
You will have access to our latest resources and easy to use tools to help you measure your animal and environmental impact and set a course for action.
We will showcase what companies are doing in this space to build consumer buy-in and loyalty, to provide inspiration and guidance for your own marketing strategies.
We will promote the latest industry innovations, in areas such as farming practices, product development and communication, that provide off the shelf solutions for your business.
We will provide you with a reporting framework to help you continually measure and report progress on key metrics for your animal welfare and environmental impact.
If we are to mitigate the threat to people, planet and animals currently represented by our current food systems we need urgent action at a global level. This will require a high level international coordinated initiative.
Without this, it will not be possible to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nor will it be possible to achieve healthy diets for all. We will not be able to halt the devastating impact of food production on biodiversity and our environment thereby compromising life as we know it for future generations.
Compassion in World Farming believes that action on food systems within the framework of the United Nations is imperative, just as it was for the existential issue of climate change.
A collective effort
We are seeking support to build momentum for a new Global Agreement for Sustainable Food and Farming to inspire food system change and spark a new era in regenerative agriculture. Change can only be realised collaboratively and we are embarking upon an ambitious work programme with both businesses and policy makers to make this happen.
2021 will see key events at which urgent global action on food systems could be agreed, including:
the Conference on the Convention on Biological Diversity
the UN Food Systems Summit
COP26, the Climate Change Conference
Business support for food system transformation is essential. It’s business that will be responsible for so many of the changes needed. It’s business that so often leads the way to sustainable solutions.
Never has there been a more urgent need for action. The United Nations itself has warned that humanity is not on track to achieve key environmental goals, including on climate change, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, excess nutrient run-off and land degradation.
We invite you to become one of the first businesses to offer support for a new Global Agreement on Sustainable Food and Farming. Please download and sign the agreement, and return it to the email address in the letter heading.
Following supermarket trends in January 2020, Co-op launched their plant-based vegan range “Gro” featuring 35 meat-free products. The Gro range focuses on convenience, seen by many as a major growth market, with Co-op utilising innovation in plant-based meals for its new range.
Co-op UK also launched their own-brand vegan ‘Incredible Burger’ that mimics the juiciness of a beef burger with the power of beetroot and other plant-based goodness.
In May 2021 Co-op reduced the price of their Gro range to match the price of their meat and dairy-based counterparts, so that people choosing plant based foods do not have to pay more for this choice.
Co-op UK publish an in-depth Future of Foods report which states their ambition to achieve a sustainable food future for people and the planet. As part of this, they have a section on their website aimed at customers and mention the larger impact that meat, fish and dairy have on the environment and how reducing meat can help reduce the footprint of a diet.
Along with Tesco, M&S, Sainsbury and Waitrose, Co-op UK are supporting WWF’s ‘Sustainable Basket Initiative’ with a commitment to halve the environmental impact of UK baskets by 2030 across 7 areas: climate, deforestation and conversion of habitat, agricultural production, marine, diets, food waste and packaging.
In 2019 M&S launched over 50 products in its Plant Kitchen range offering a broader plant-based portfolio to its customers that are going veggie or wanting to avoid eating meat and dairy products.
Boasting some unusual additions, customers can find items such as a Beetroot Bourguignon Crumble and Jackfruit Bon Bons. This range was voted as the ‘Best own-brand vegan supermarket range’ by Vegan Food and Living Magazine in 2021
M&S also have a section on their website called ‘Sustainable Suppers’ which explains how incorporating more plant based foods into diets can help reduce carbon emissions, and they are supporting WWF’s ‘Sustainable Basket Initiative’ with a commitment to halve the environmental impact of UK baskets by 2030 across 7 areas: climate, deforestation and conversion of habitat, agricultural production, marine, diets, food waste and packaging.
The growing appetite for meat-free dishes is reflected in recent sales, as shoppers look to explore the wide variety of vegan and veggie options this barbecue season. We continue to see rising sales of our range and know our customers are especially enjoying all the exciting and innovative new products.
Tesco has launched a new and exciting report: Balanced diet for a better future (Jan 2021), in a bid to provide its customers with a simple approach to both healthy and sustainable eating.
With “7 in 10 Tesco customers actively trying to reduce their intake of meat”, the report helps customers navigate this transition through a series of hints and tips plus a detailed 7 – Day Meal Planner.
The report encourages Tesco customers to “eat more veg, fruit and wholegrains… and to rebalance protein sources to include more plants.”
The report also outlines Tesco’s commitment towards a “300% increase in sales of meat alternatives by 2025”.
In 2019, Tesco launched a new own-brand range of plant-based foods under the Plant Chef label, which the retailer’s head of plant-based innovation, Derek Sarno, says responds to a ‘clear opportunity’ for ‘affordable, more familiar dishes’.
Tesco said it had launched more than 30 new plant-based products across its Wicked Kitchen and Plant Chef ranges in July 2020, including BBQ, Asian-inspired and meal kits.
Tesco has announced it intends to take “plant-based category leadership” and plans to eventually offer 300 different vegan products.
In December 2019, Sainsbury’s launched their own-label Plant Pioneers vegan range. The range of 31 plant-based ambient, chilled and frozen lines includes fresh meat alternatives like vegan steaks and Shroomballs as well as plant-based comfort food lines like Fishless Fingers and Southern Fried Bites. They have also introduced over 100 alternative protein products led by their Love Your Veg range.
Sainsbury’s has recorded a 45% increase in sales of plant-based products year-on-year and the brand is set to tap into the growing demand for meat-free alternatives by expanding its vegan range.
To mark the start of Veganuary in January 2020, ASDA launched 48 new plant-based products under the ‘Asda Plant Based’ label, with most products hosting the new ‘live better’ logo - Asda’s new health icon helping to signpost the healthiest choices in the range.
In January 2020 Aldi launched its Plant Menu range containing 14 products and added 20 more to this in 2021.
Their options range from veggie burgers, hot dogs, meatless meatballs, vegetable pot stickers, and eggplant ravioli to an array of dairy-free cheeses, healthy plant-based milks, and vegan ice cream.
In addition to this, Aldi has created a ‘Healthy and Sustainable Basket’ in partnership with the British Dietetic Association. The basket has been designed to encourage people to make healthy food choices while also reducing their impact on the environment by encouraging customers to eat more plants than the average diet. They have also made the suggestions affordable so that the options can be purchased on a budget.
The basket gives ideas of what items to buy including suggestions of products certified to animal welfare assurance schemes and also promoting some higher animal welfare items. They provide health tips and encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables, as well as provide meal ideas which can be made from items in the shopping basket.
Other sustainability initiatives Aldi focuses on include making a commitment to increasing the percentage of sales from healthier products, working to reduce their environmental impact by focusing on tackling climate change, boosting their energy efficiency and reducing, reusing and recycling their waste.
Morrisons has been tapping into the trend towards plant-based food by targeting younger consumers and providing options for those who wish to cut down on their meat consumption.
Since 2018, due to successful sales figures and customer demand, they have expanded their own-brand vegan line, V-Taste, with the addition of plant-based ready meals such as: Jackfruit Biryani, Celeriac Steaks & Portobello Mushrooms with Skin-On-Fries, Vegan Garlic Mushroom Spaghetti, No Chik-in Jalfrezi and The Best Mushroom Steamed Buns.
In July 2020, Morrisons launched the nation’s first supermarket vegan ‘no pepperoni’ pizza with a plant-based cheese and a vegan pepperoni alternative which uses a blend of pea protein and spices to mimic the meaty taste and texture.
They have whole sections on their website dedicated to vegan and vegetarian options.
Rewe Group is one of Europe’s leading retail and tourism groups operating in 21 countries. They have a large presence in Germany operating around 6000 stores including the Rewe and Penny supermarket chains, nahkauf convenience store franchises, the bakery chain Glocken-Bäckerei and the butcher Wilhelm Brandenburg. Internationally they have a further 3500 stores including discounter Penny, supermarket Billa and multiple convenience store chains.
The group strives to raise the awareness levels of children and adults about more sustainable consumption and more balanced nutrition and integrates their customers into its involvement in biodiversity and environmental protection. To do this, they conduct campaigns in their stores such as participatory events, informative action weeks and fundraising drives on selected products. They have a number of initiatives which help to reduce their impact on the environment and encourage customers to have a more sustainable diet. These include:
Rewe have added the ‘PRO PLANET’ sustainability label to its products which takes into account the social, environmental and animal welfare aspects to help customers make informed choices about the products they are purchasing.
Penny was the first retailer in Germany to develop an own brand vegan range across all of its product categories with its Food for Future range. The range includes plant-based burgers, rice nuggets and egg and cheese substitutes and is also climate neutral.
In September 2020 Penny teamed up with the University of Augsburg to calculate the ‘true prices’ for eight conventional and organically produced private-label products (apples, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, mozzarella, Gouda, milk, and mixed meat). They factored in the impact of nitrogen, greenhouse gases, energy, and land-use change from each product’s supply chain and found that the retail price would need to increase by an average of 62% for conventional products and 35% for organic products if the impacts of all the factors were considered in the price. Taking dietary habits into account as well resulted in an increase of 52% for conventional and 32% for organic products. Both prices were shown on the products to demonstrate the real cost of consuming that product, although customers only paid the retail cost.
At the same time as its ‘True Prices’ project, Penny opened its first interactive sustainability market “PENNY Grüner Weg” in the Spandau area of Berlin. This store contains 20 stations to make the company’s most important sustainability issues more visible and tangible. It answers questions such as ‘Which products will still be on the shelf if there were no more bees and other pollinating insects?’ and also offers products such as vegetables which are usually rejected as being too big, small or wonky, and items with less packaging.
In July 2021 Rewe Germany introduced the ‘Better Half’ brand containing classic meat items which replace 50% of the meat content with vegetables. The range has launched in 1800 stores with two options, minced beef and sausages, with plans to add more sausage products following the launch. The vegetables used in the products include peppers, carrots, onions, tomatoes, pea flour, herbs, and natural spices, but no flavour enhancers. As well as offering an option to consumers who wish to reduce their meat consumption, a further benefit of the hybrid mince is that it contains significantly less fat and calories than classic minced beef.
Rewe Germany received the ‘Most Vegan-Friendly Supermarket 2021’ award from Peta due to its wide range of plant-based products on offer, and Penny received the ‘Best Own Brand’ award for its Food for Future range.
Danish Crown, one of Europe’s largest meat processors, has launched a range of plant-based alternatives, sold under the brand name Den Grønne Slagter (which translates as The Green Butcher).
The co-operative is offering consumers plant-based products such as mince and nuggets, describing them as its “first broad product range of plant-based food”.
Jais Valeur, Danish Crown’s CEO, described the launch of The Green Butcher as the group’s “first small step” into the market for alternative proteins.
He added: “When we diversify, it is important to us that we are able to offer products that taste good and are easy for consumers to prepare. We now have those products, and as one of Denmark’s largest food suppliers, we wish to contribute to developing the supply of plant-based products. We foresee growing demand for alternative proteins in the years ahead.”
Danish Crown said the items are made without soy and have either Nordic or organic vegetables as their main ingredient.
Danish Crown has a target for revenue from plant-based food to be “in the high double-digits of millions of Danish kroner” in 2022.
Premier Foods' Enriching Life Plan covers all aspects of sustainable development from the ingredients they source to the communities they serve.
Key targets include more than tripling their plant-based sales to support the nation’s shift towards plant-based diets, and contributing to a healthier planet by achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040, halving food waste and eliminating deforestation across their entire supply chain
Arla Foods have ambitious plans to boost organic product growth by 50% over the next 5 years under their Organic 2.0 standards.
These new standards, which will be introduced in January 2022, incorporate climate impact, soil health, biodiversity and animal welfare.
Under the Organic 2.0 standards farmers will be required to convert to 100% green electricity using renewable sources such as wind, solar, biogas and hydropower.
Organic farmers have also been set a target to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% per kilogram of milk by 2028, ahead of the 2030 goal for Arla’s conventional farmers.
Additionally, they will need to conduct a carbon assessment of the soil to create a baseline for measuring further improvements, with an analysis to be conducted by a third party to track progress in areas such as organic carbon, total carbon, total nitrogen and the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio.
Farmers will be asked to address biodiversity by planting hedgerows, allowing sections of land to grow naturally and encouraging flower-rich pollinator habitats.
Unilever launched a vegan version of its Hellmann’s mayonnaise in 2016, made primarily from soybean oil. Hellmann’s is marketed to both consumers and chefs alike, touted as a standalone sandwich spread and ingredient for dressings, sauces, and more. For its egg-based mayonnaise, Hellmann’s has also been recognized for its leadership in sourcing cage-free eggs and has received Good Egg Awards for its policies in the United States, United Kingdom, Poland, and Czech Republic.
Nestlé has stepped into the plant-based space across a range of its brands. In addition to rolling out plant-based creamers through its "Natural Bliss" line, protein smoothies via Nescafé, Nestlé significantly expanded its footprint in 2017 by aquiring Sweet Earth and in 2019 by launching a plant-based burger. Sweet Earth offerings include a wide range of plant-forward and plant-based items, from burritos to pizzas to deli slices. In 2019, Nestlé launched its own plant-based burger under the Sweet Earth brand as the "Awesome Burger" in the United States and under the Garden Gourmet brand as the "Sensational Burger" (formerly known as the “Incredible Burger”) in the EU. Rollout of the burger included launching it at McDonalds in Germany as the "Big Vegan TS".
Winterbotham Darby – a leading retail and foodservice supplier of fresh and flavourful products – have a passion to deliver happiness through food. Having created and established themselves as leaders of the continental meats and chilled olive and antipasti categories, they are now growing and innovating in the plant-based sector.
They’ve worked closely with fast-growing challenger brand Vivera to launch their pioneering Vegan Steak and wider range into the UK market. Their development continues with the launch of their own brand, "Squeaky Bean". The cross-category range comprises ready-to-eat and quick-to-heat products, including their plant-based marinated chicken style pieces. In order to grow capability, this year sees a multi-million pound investment at their Bicester site.
We’re increasingly aware that consumers are thinking more about their food and where it comes from. Our expansion into the plant-based market allows us to meet the growing demand of flexitarians shoppers. This is alongside our high quality, high welfare continental meats underpinned by our own accredited welfare standards.
Besides Danone continues to sell its broad range of dairy products and is actively promoting better welfare standards across its global dairy supply chain, with the acquisition of WhiteWave in 2017, they have also started to enrich their portfolio with plant-based food and drinks. Danone’s plant-based offer includes well-known, global leading brands such as Alpro, Silk, and the plant-based nutrition shakes from Vega.
Through its Farming for Generations alliance, Danone is working to reshape the future of farming by applying practices of regenerative agriculture and supporting dairy farmers and growers to make better farming a viable source of living. Watch their video.
Birds Eye has introduced a new "Green Cuisine" range of burgers, sausages and Swedish meatballs which are made with pea protein. They launched a £2m marketing campaign, including TV ads, to drive awareness and penetration of its new range.
Polish dairy company, Jogurty Magda, has switched completely to plant-based products. ".. the decision to make Jogurty Magda a fully plant-based brand is a natural consequence of the continuous development of our product portfolio, which for more than two years has been dominated by yoghurt and cream based on coconut milk. Our products are for everyone. They end up on the tables of Poles, Czechs, Slovaks and consumers in other countries, who, for various reasons, want to limit the consumption of animal products, while not giving up their favourite flavours. I am glad that from now on the actions we take will be fully consistent." said Magdalena Kubit, Managing Director of Jogurty Magda.
Qurczak is the first Polish company specialising in 100% plant-based alternative to broiler meat. A vegetable alternative combining white beans and wheat protein, it contains all the essential amino acids required.
Impossible Foods Inc. is a company that develops plant-based substitutes for meat products. They have been actively marketing their famous "Impossible Burger" and "Impossible sausage" which are made from plants. The company reports that its grocery store footprint has increased more than 6,000% in 2020 alone and that retail sales have more than doubled every month since April this year.
Beyond Meat’s mission is to create a future of protein made from plants and are rapidly expanding their market share in the plant-based meat category.
Beyond Meat have trademarked product names based on variations of "Beyond Butter", "Beyond Cheese" and "Beyond Mince".
In July 2021, they introduced 'Beyond Chicken' - a plant-based chicken tender.
The plant-based faux chicken is made from fava beans and peas, containing 14 grams of protein per serving, 40% less saturated fat than the average tender, no GMOs, antibiotics or hormones and have no cholesterol.
Beyond Chicken tenders are available at nearly 400 restaurants across the U.S.
In addition to rolling out its own plant-based nuggets and blended burger under a new "Raised & Rooted" brand in 2019, the previous year, Tyson Foods invested in cultured meat company "Memphis Meats" – joining the likes of Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Cargill, and more.
While the company has given no indication that it intends to roll back its investments in its animal based products, upon launch then-CEO, Tom Hayes, reflected that the company’s focus is ultimately on protein and that the investment is "another step toward giving today’s consumers what they want and feeding tomorrow’s consumers sustainably for years to come".
Environmentally friendly poultry farm Kipster produces entirely carbon-neutral eggs. They have established an innovative and successful business which addresses both animal welfare and sustainability concerns. Read the case study and watch the video.
Chippindale is a free-range egg supplier who are committed to driving sustainability in the supply chain. They have partnered with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and require each of their supplying farmers to plant an acre of wildflower meadow for each laying hen range, boosting bee numbers by up to 55%.
The Regenerative Organic Alliance was formed in 2018 to promote regenerative organic farming as the highest standard for agriculture around the world. ROA exists to heal a broken system, repair a damaged planet, and empower farmers and consumers to forge a brighter future through better farming. And the time is now: COVID-19 has quickly revealed the underlying risks and inequalities in the global food system. Many farmers, doctors, and scientists agree that fixing our broken food system and adhering to regenerative organic practices is one of the tools we have to improve human health, as shown in a new white paper recently released by Rodale Institute and The Plantrician Project.
KFC UK launched their "Original Recipe Vegan Burger" (originally called the Imposter Burger) for a 4 week trial in June of 2019 in 20 restaurants across London, Bristol and the Midlands. This burger replaces the chicken breast fillet made from Quorn which has been coated in the Colonel’s Original Recipe herbs and spices. It became at permanent feature on KFC’s menu on 2nd January 2020 across 900 UK KFC stores following a successful trial.
In May 2021, Compass Group UK&I published their Net Zero plan and their roadmap outlines strategies and targets for sustainable food production, including a target to achieve a 55% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025.
Compass Group has identified local and seasonal ingredients as a key focus, as well as a move towards more plant-based proteins.
They aim to switch to 40% plant-based by 2030 (and at least 25% by 2025).
They also plan to source 70% of the top five food categories (dairy & cheese, fruit & veg, pork, beef and chicken) from regenerative agriculture by 2030.
In October 2021, Compass Group extended its plans to be Net Zero globally by 2050 and carbon neutral across its own operations (Scope 1 & 2) worldwide by 2030.
Their targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi):
46% reduction in absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2030 from a 2019 base year, classified by the SBTi as in line with a 1.5°C trajectory
28% reduction in absolute Scope 3 GHG emissions from all food and drink purchased by 2030 from a 2019 base year; classified by the SBTi as aligned to a Well Below 2°C trajectory
Group-wide Decarbonisation Commitments:
Carbon neutral worldwide in Group operations by 2030
Climate Net Zero across global value chain (Scope 3) by 2050”
Carolyn Ball from Compass Group UK&I:“We know that for a catering operation, anywhere between 50% and 70% of the footprint is usually carried within the food itself, meaning that the menu is a massive ally for meaningful change…I really do think that if we're serious about this, which we all are, then one of the things we have to do more of is openly share learnings and collaborate, because otherwise it's not really climate leadership”
Nando’s are prioritising sustainability in conjunction with their animal welfare ambitions. They signed up to The Better Chicken Commitment in July 2020 and at the same time, pledged to achieve absolute zero direct emissions and reduce the carbon footprint of the average Nando’s meal by 50% by 2030. To achieve these goals, Nando’s have identified several priorities which include increasing their plant-based offering on their menu. In October 2020, they launched a new addition to their menu; a plant-based burger called ‘The Great Imitator’ made from pea protein. This burger is said to have less than half the carbon footprint of their classic chicken burger, and Nando’s are so confident in the taste that they challenge their customers to try and tell the difference!
Greggs launched their Vegan Sausage Roll in January 2019, just in time for Veganuary, following strong consumer demand, including a petition by PETA last year, which more than 20,000 people signed. The Vegan Sausage Roll was rolled out across a selection of restaurants before becoming a permanent feature in March 2019.
Following the success of the Vegan Sausage Roll, the Vegan Friendly Steak Bake was launched on 2nd January 2020 across 1,300 shops with plans to roll out across all stores at a later date. They say that there are currently no plans to extend the vegan option to any more bakes at the moment.
Their first vegan product, the Mexican Bean Wrap was launched in 2018.
Meat production is land and resource intensive and is a main contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. As part of our ambition, we will continue to introduce more plant-based food into the range. More plant-based options on the menu results in more guests choosing these alternatives.
Burger King launched the Impossible Whopper in 2019 which was its first significant exploration into the meat-free market.
Burger King made its name in the UK selling beef burgers, but as it adds more meat-free dishes to its menu, the company has stated some of its meat products will be dropped. Burger King’s chief executive Alasdair Murdoch said: “When we bring in a plant-based product… there is probably an equal and opposite reaction where we are taking something else off,” he said. “Are there going to be less meat products? Ultimately, you would say yes.”
In January 2022, Murdoch announced the launch of Burger King UK’s new vegan nuggets across their menus nationwide - a significant milestone for the company and an important next step in achieving their target of a 50% meat-free menu by 2030.
The 20% Less Meat campaign is aimed at encouraging UK caterers to reduce the amount of meat on their menus by 20% across schools, hospitals, universities and care homes.
Their website says "It is about the health and wellbeing of us all and contributing to a needed reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions", "championing the use of British food" and "encouraging public sector buyers to use better quality, locally sourced, traceable and sustainable produce".
Cities are rising to the challenge. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group consists of 96 cities across the world that represent one twelfth of the global population and a quarter of the global economy.
14 of these cities from across the globe (Barcelona, Copenhagen, Guadalajara, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Quezon City, Seoul, Stockholm, Tokyo and Toronto) are committed to working with residents to achieve the Planetary Health Diet for all by 2030.
The Planetary Health Diet is flexible and can be adapted across all culinary traditions and cultural preferences. It is extremely encouraging and inspiring to see cities rising to this challenge and making bold commitment.
Dr. Gunhild A. Stordalen. Founder & Executive Chair, EAT
Get in touch
If you would like to know more about our Rethinking Food programme, please get in touch with our Food Business Team.
Rockström, J. Stockholm Resilience Centre, speaking on 24 June 2020 at EAT and The Rockefeller Foundation’s virtual event https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H--JgCgFec0&t=1s
Rockström, J., Steffen, W., Noone, K. et al. A safe operating space for humanity. Nature 461, 472–475 (2009) doi:10.1038/461472a
Quoted from an article by Sarah Bosely in The Guardian 28 January 2019 https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/27/food-industry-obesity-malnutrition-climate-change-report last viewed 31st July 2020
FAO. (2016). Key facts on food loss and waste you should know. Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/save-food/resources/keyfindings/en/
Alexander et al (2016) Protein efficiency of meat and dairy production. Human appropriation of land for food: the role of diet. Global Environmental Change. Taken from Our World in Data
FAO (n.d.) Main ethical issues in fisheries. [ONLINE] Available at http://www.fao.org/3/y6634e/y6634e04.html
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. "More than 2 billion people overweight or obese, new study finds: Massive global research project reveals 30 percent of the world's population affected by weight problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2017.
GBD 2017 Diet Collaborators, Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systemic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, The Lancet 393(10184), April 2019. https://www.thelancet.com/article/S0140-6736(19)30041-8/fulltext
UNEP Global Environmental Outlook 2019 op.cit.
World Health Organisation, 2011 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2011/whd 20110406/en/
Transforming food and agriculture to achieve the SDG’s http://www.fao.org/3/I9900EN/i9900en.pdf
Bajželj, B., Richards, K. S., Allwood, J. M., Smith, P., Dennis, J. S., Curmi, E., & Gilligan, C. A. (2014). Importance of food-demand management for climate mitigation. Nature Climate Change, 4(10), 924-929
FAO transforming food and agriculture to achieve SDG’s http://www.fao.org/3/I9900EN/i9900en.pdf
Mekonnen, M. and Hoekstra, A., 2012. A global assessment of the water footprint of farm animal products. Ecosystems.: DOI:10. 1007/s10021-011-9517-8
Edmondson, J.L. et al., 2014. Urban cultivation in allotments maintains soil qualities adversely affected by conventional agriculture. Journal of Applied Ecology 2014,51,880-889
Tsiafouli, MA. et al., 2015. Intensive agriculture reduces soil biodiversity across Europe. Global Change Biology:21, p973-985
World Health Organisation and Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. 2015. Connecting global priorities: biodiversity and human health
Lelieveld et al, 2015. The contribution of outdoor air pollution sources to premature mortality on a global scale. Nature, Vol 525
The Planetary Health Diet. Eat. Online. Viewed 28 October 2020 https://eatforum.org/learn-and-discover/the-planetary-health-diet/
Schader C et al. 2015. Impacts of feeding less food-competing feedstuffs to livestock on global food system sustainability. J. R. Soc. Interface 12: 20150891. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2015.0891
You are using an outdated browserwhich we do not support. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.
If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please get in touch with us at email@example.com. We aim to respond to all queries within two working days. However, due to the high volume of correspondence that we receive, it may occasionally take a little longer. Please do bear with us if this is the case. Alternatively, if your query is urgent, you can contact our Supporter Engagement Team on +44 (0)1483 521 953 (lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).