Kale Yeah! launched to help caterers serve plant-based food

Kale Yeah! provides information and tools to help caterers serve up menus with less and better meat, fish and dairy and more veg, pulses and beans
  Published:  20 Nov 2020    |      3 minute read
  • Environmental organisation to roll out nationwide catering sustainability scheme
  • Kale Yeah! provides practical information and tools to help caterers serve up menus with less and better meat, fish and dairy products and more veg, pulses and beans
  • Scheme backed by Students Organising for Sustainability UK
  • The catering industry is on pause amidst COVID-19 but a way of coming back stronger is through better, healthier food

Friends of the Earth is launching a nationwide sustainability scheme to help caterers fight the climate crisis by serving less meat, fish and dairy, and more plant-based dishes. The production of meat and dairy products, particularly in intensive systems, is a huge source of climate-wrecking emissions* and causes serious damage to nature. Enabling people to eat more plant-based foods and less and better meat and dairy must form a key element of stopping further climate and nature breakdown as well as improving our health and animal welfare.

Kale Yeah! resources are designed to help chefs meet and exceed meat reduction targets including Eating Better’s 50% by 2030 and the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation of a 20% reduction per person in the consumption of beef, lamb and dairy products..

Called Kale Yeah!, the scheme encourages three steps:

  • Rebalance menus to shift the focus away from animal products
  • Incentivise plant-based eating
  • Promote healthy and sustainable options all year round

Kale Yeah! resources offer a range of ideas and inspiration for caterers to use and adapt for their setting. Resources include:

  • Caterers’ toolkit with information on plant-based ingredients and meat alternatives, cookery tips and tricks, menu design and promotion
  • Rebalanced menu guide to illustrate how adapting a menu and recipes in different ways can reduce meat/fish/dairy content by 28-56% per cent, for example by:
    • Swapping beef for beans
    • Using less lamb and more lentils
    • Blending mushrooms into burgers
  • Guide to launching a loyalty card, with learnings from a pilot scheme carried out at the University of Portsmouth.

Friends of the Earth is also encouraging caterers to source the meat, fish and dairy still on the menu from higher welfare and more planet-friendly sources. This means free-range, organic and pasture-fed instead of intensively farmed, enabling caterers to support UK farmers using nature-friendly production methods.

Clare Oxborrow, Friends of the Earth’s food campaigner, said:

“Caterers have had to adapt to Covid, for example by supporting students in isolation, but the current situation won’t remain forever. Kale Yeah! shows caterers how easy it is to create exciting menus with less and better meat and dairy, and more veg, pulses and other tasty plant alternatives, whilst still providing delicious dishes and customer choice.

“Reducing the amount of meat and dairy eaten and produced is critical in the fight against climate and nature breakdown. There is also huge demand from students for food that tastes good and does good.”

“Through Kale Yeah! we want to work with caterers to move meat from playing the starring role on menus to being more of a side show. This shift will be great news for the planet, animal welfare, and our health”.

Jamie Agombar, executive director at Students Organising for Sustainability UK, said:

"There is an urgent need to drastically increase the plant-based catering options on campuses and to ensure any meat that is sold is not from industrial farms. The Kale Yeah Caterers’ Toolkit and Menu Guide are excellent resources that will make this transition so much easier for those responsible for menus and food procurement.”

ENDS

Notes:

  1. About Kale Yeah!:
    1. Kale Yeah! is a scheme to help caterers reduce the amount of meat, fish and dairy products they are serving and add more plant-based options to their menus. It is being launched in time for Veganuary 2021 and builds on a pilot loyalty card project run with Portsmouth Uni last year.
    2. Kale Yeah! encourages three steps:
      1. Rebalance menus to shift the focus away from animal products
      2. Incentivise plant-based eating
      3. Promote healthy and sustainable options all year round
    3. For more information, and to download resources to support each of the steps, go to https://campaigning.friendsoftheearth.uk/kale-yeah/kale-yeah-caterers-sustainability-scheme
  2. Implementing Kale Yeah! can help caterers meet and surpass three meat reduction targets:
    1. The Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation of a 20 per cent reduction per person in the consumption of beef, lamb and dairy products (announced in January) (further CCC reports coming out on 9 December which will include meat and behaviour change).
    2. Public Sector Catering’s #20percentlessmeat pledge, supported by catering colleges + hospital, prison, school, local authority and university catering associations (announced in April).
    3. Eating Better Alliance’s Better By Half target of reducing meat consumption in the UK by 50% by 2030.
  3. *Meat and dairy production causes 14.5% of climate-changing emissions globally: http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/197623/icode/
  4. Fish is included because of the threat to global fish stocks and to avoid caterers using more fish as they reduce the meat on their menus.
  5. According to a survey carried out by The Vegan Society, during lockdown 20 per cent of consumers reduced the amount of meat they bought.
  6. Sainsbury’s has predicted that that by 2025, one quarter of Britons will be vegetarian or vegan and 50 per cent will eat a flexitarian diet.