European Network for a Plant-Based Diet

Panel discussion

Working Towards The Inclusion of a Plant-Based Diet in Public Policy

This PlantEurope panel discussion will give insights into already existing national food strategies from pioneering countries in Europe as well as highlight a diversity of approaches to embedding a plant-based diet in policy framework. These examples will be useful in guiding other countries' work to promote a nutrient-rich plant-based diet, helping curb climate change along the way.


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Download the panelists' presentations

Anne Pøhl Enevoldsen   Jeroom Remmers   Keyvan Mostafavi   Dustin Benton   Sofie Verhoeven

Background and aim

In order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement it is important to change the global diet to one based on a higher intake of plant-based foods. Public policy can help achieve this shift. The PlantEurope panel discussion “Working Towards The Inclusion of a Plant-Based Diet in Public Policy” will give insights into a diversity of approaches ranging from national food strategies to VAT taxes on food products based on their CO2-footprints, dietary guidelines or campaign work. These examples will be useful in guiding other countries' work to promote a nutrient-rich plant-based diet, helping curb climate change along the way. 


Attendees will learn from the speakers how their respective policies and measures came to be and what  the strategies used were, especially from civil society involved in order to bring the proposals forward. What did it need for them to be implemented and what were the hurdles and solutions to them along the way? Was there resistance and if so how did they reach society’s  support and a political majority? What is the impact compared to the initial propositions, how much can be moved and how transferable are these examples to other countries?

The event is supposed to give an insight into pioneering processes of developing  nation-specific recommendations for a national food strategy. It will also be examined, how far those suggested measures find approval by the government. Dietary Guidelines will also serve as a pioneering example of how to highlight the importance of climate-friendly nutrition as well as recommend a more plant-based diet. The True Animal Protein Price Coalition will present their proposals and achievements in the Netherlands for CO2 effects of food products being reflected in the consumer prices. Sofie Verhoeven is going to share what measures it took Ghent to become the veggie capital of Europe.

The panel discussion takes place against the background of plant-based nutrition being considered to be one of the most important levers for mitigating the climate crisis, in addition to its health benefits. While in the recent past we have seen numerous campaigns promoting a plant-based diet by civil society, the need for broadscale work from stakeholders, especially in politics is high. Successful work on the political level can serve as an example to other European policy makers as well as give a guideline to countries or municipalities looking to implement a plant-based diet in public policy. 

PlantEurope network

The PlantEurope project connects actors from the field of plant-based nutrition across Europe in order to support and accelerate the transformation of the food system. In order to initiate a fruitful exchange of experience between the pioneers, initiatives, lighthouse projects, organizations, associations, start-ups, scientists, community caterers, restaurateurs etc. the PlantEurope team is conducting virtual panel discussions on various topics as part of the project. By connecting the actors and their success stories with a broad audience in different European countries, knowledge transfer and the exchange of experiences should be made possible within the framework of the panel discussions.

The panel discussion deepens the important topic of communal catering in the work of the PlantEurope network towards more plant-based nutrition in Europe. Through this second major event of the network, successful political strategies and initiatives in their pioneering role in Europe can become better known to political decision makers and civil society actors from other member states. The establishment of similar policies and initiatives elsewhere in Europe can be initiated through highlighting best practices and the exchange of experiences.