SRA Chief Executive, Andrew Stephen made the business case for making the shift towards more veg-led menus and explained that Foodprint was designed to provide a simple and straightforward way to inspire action. “We see our role in this as making it simple for the industry, so you can thrive on a thriving planet. We want to help make you fit for the future as a foodservice provider.”
Andrew said that customers’ shift towards making decisions on the basis of health and environment was only going to grow, aided by the many tech platforms and search engines building these factors into their functionality.
He also pointed to the serious boost many businesses have enjoyed by upping the volume, variety and quality of their veg-based offering – Leon, Wagamama and Zizzi among others. And with ‘cauliflower being cheaper than steak’, higher margins are another serious benefit not to be sniffed at, Andrew said.
Providing staff with greater purpose at a time of serious skills shortages and getting ahead of the risk curve were two further strong reasons for providers to embrace the race to shift consumer diets.
The SRA is the first organisation in the UK to partner with the Cool Food Pledge, run by the World Resources Institute (WRI), which helps foodservice operators reduce their food-related emissions by 25%. Participants in ‘Foodprint’ will have access to the Cool Food Pledge’s suite of tools that simplify measuring and tracking their impact. The SRA will be working directly with operators in up to 50 sites, while larger operators will work directly with the Cool Food Pledge team.
The Cool Food Pledge helps foodservice providers to serve delicious food while also slashing greenhouse gases (GHGs).
There are three key elements:
- Providers must pledge to reduce GHGs by 25% by 2030
- Cool Food Pledge will provide guidance and support to achieve that reduction
- Cool Food Pledge will promote the achievements of participants
Daniel Vennard, Director of the Cool Food Pledge at WRI, said: “The Cool Food Pledge is showing that climate action can be delicious. Already, companies serving more than 100 million meals annually have signed on to Cool Food and are using science-based strategies like more appetizing language to increase sales of climate-friendly foods.”
The SRA identified meat reduction as one of three essential issues for the sector to focus on 2019 in its impact report The Tastiest Challenge on the Planet. A number of operators have already succeeded in selling more veg-based dishes, meeting customer demand and reducing their impact including Leon, which has increased sales of their vegan and vegetarian meal by 21% and 18% respectively, and Wagamama which has enjoyed a 60% rise in the proportion of customers choosing a vegan option.