Footprint Special Interest Group meeting

Eating Better launches business engagement

On July 15th Eating Better joined forces with corporate responsibility champions, Footprint to highlight the business opportunities in healthy sustainable diets. 

Launching Eating Better’s business engagement initiative, Sue Dibb, Eating Better’s coordinator said businesses have an important role in helping people make healthy and sustainable choices, including shifting to more plant-based eating with less and better meat.

Speaking to an audience of leading food service companies and industry organisations, including some of the best-known names in the foodservice, services and hospitality industries including Sodexo, Aramark, Tragus, Spirit Pub Company, Coca-Cola Enterprises, and Nestlé Professional, Eating Better’s coordinator, Sue Dibb said:

"Today we are launching our engagement with business. We want to raise awareness of business opportunities for healthy sustainable eating, help identify what good practice looks like and showcase businesses leading the way whether restaurants, school and hospital food providers, employers, retailers, and food producers.

“Food businesses can help by offering more meat-free meals and creating lower- meat and more plant-based dishes that are attractive, desirable choices for customers as well as sourcing ‘better’ meat for the meat they do use that is naturally-fed, has a known provenance and is produced to high animal welfare, environmental and quality standards. This ‘less but better’ approach to meat eating can provide health and sustainability benefits while also providing cost savings.”

Eating Better says the impacts of rising food prices and the horsemeat scandal have shone a spotlight on meat on the menu. With flexitarian eating tipped as the next big trend, Eating Better is launching engagement with food businesses to encourage their help in shifting the nation’s eating patterns to be healthier, more sustainable, and more profitable. 

Eating Better’s YouGov survey of the British public demonstrates an opportunity for food businesses to respond to the public’s growing awareness and interest in less and better meat eating. The survey found one-in-three people willing to consider eating less meat with a quarter already saying they had cut back. Around half those surveyed also said they would be willing to pay more for ‘better’ meat if it tastes better, is healthier, produced to higher welfare standards or provides better financial returns to farmers.  Willingness to pay was not restricted to higher (ABC1) social grade groups

Eating Better says companies already engaging in the market for ‘less and better’ meat include Pizza Express with a Meat-Free Monday friendly menu, IKEA’s intention to ‘green’ its iconic meatballs to cut carbon emissions (by offering vegetarian and chicken options) and McDonalds global commitment to sourcing sustainably produced beef.

Chefs, such as Bruno Loubet at the Grainstore in London, are leading the way in putting vegetables centre stage on restaurant menus. In the public sector, Food for Life catering mark standards are demonstrating how schools and hospitals can deliver healthy sustainable meals at no extra cost. 

Download our press release here.

To let us know how your company is responding or to discuss how Eating Better can help: contact sue(at)eating-better.org 

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