The PlantEurope Network team is excited to report the success of the first panel discussion of the project. More than 50 attendees learned about the panelists’ efforts to shift the focus in communal catering toward plant-based meals.
The event started with welcoming remarks by Kerstin Wortmann (head of the Environment and Food Systems Division in the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV)) and was followed by presentations of four different pioneering initiatives in Europe:
- Plant-based meals mandated by law: Portugal by Nuno Alvim (Associação Vegetariana Portuguesa, Portugal)
- Malmö’s journey to sustainable school food by Helen Nilsson (City of Malmö, Sweden)
- Proveg School Plates by Jimmy Pierson (ProVeg, UK)
- Rethinking Lunch Break: Less animal proteins, more sustainability by Claudio Pomo (MenoPerPiù, Italy)
After the presentations Siska Pottie from the European Alliance for Plant-Based Foods joined the panel to put the European legal framework into context and give insight into the Green Public Procurement Guidelines.
Key learnings from the discussion were that plant-based meals in communal catering is a powerful lever in changing the food system. The panelists confirmed that climate is a driver and talking about sustainability has brought along some successes. They also pointed out that language is important and that whether we agree with it or not, we need to use language that is supported by the masses, rather than just the vegan movement. A positive example also showcased that the transition to plant-based meals can be cost effective. The panelists furthermore stressed that education is key for all stakeholders.
The PlantEurope Project team wants to express their gratitude to the panelists Nuno Alvim, Helen Nilsson, Jimmy Pierson, Claudio Pomo, Siska Pottie, our moderator Dr. Shireen Kassam, as well as Kerstin Wortmann for contributing to this event. Thank you also to all attendees.
The recording of the panel discussion will be made available at the NAHhaft YouTube channel in the coming weeks. In the interest of accessibility we will provide subtitles for the entire video.
The panel discussion as well as the PlantEurope Network itself is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). The PlantEurope Network team thanks the ministry for their support.