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Camden Councillors In Support Of 100% Plant-Based Catering

Updated: Jan 11



  • On 15/12/23 at the Culture and Environment Scrutiny Committee of Camden Borough Council, a local resident and campaigner with Plant-based Councils gave a deputation urging the council to ensure that all food and drink provided at internal council meetings and events is entirely plant-based, which is the necessary next step in addressing the climate crisis [1] [2].  

  • Local resident Sam Ebner-Landy said that climate leadership from local authorities is needed to address the environmental impacts of our food. 

  • Councillors present were in unanimous support of the deputation [3].

  • Camden Council to explore feasibility of trialling plant-based catering for internal meetings and events [3].

  • This follows other UK councils making commitments to 100% plant-based catering: Exeter City, Oxfordshire County, Oxford City and Cambridge City Councils [4].  


Camden resident, Sam Ebner-Landy, gave a deputation at Camden Borough Council’s Culture and Environment Scrutiny Committee meeting on 14th December 2023 where he outlined the impact of food choices on the climate and ecological emergencies. He said:


“Animal grazing and land clearing has devastated our natural landscape and continues to be the source of harmful emissions and pollution. 


It only makes sense that to reduce emissions and reverse the devastation of our landscape, we must move towards plant-based foods. Recent studies have confirmed this, showing that the least sustainable plant-based diet was more environmentally friendly than the most sustainable meat-eaters diets in terms of emissions, water and land use, whether they are imported or grown locally, or produced using conventional or organic methods. 


A shift to plant-based eating in high-income nations could cut those nations’ agricultural emissions by 61% and free up land that can be returned to nature and therefore sequester carbon. This change in land use would also benefit wildlife, allowing for our precious ecosystems and biodiversity to bounce back.”


Mr Ebner-Landy asked the council to “ensure all catering for internal meetings and events is plant-based, which is an important and necessary step in addressing the climate crisis.” He said that the council can lead by example, and residents can look to the council for inspiration and guidance on how to take up more plant-based eating habits themselves.


Mr Ebner-Landy went on to say:


“The solutions are clear - a move away from meat and dairy is necessary for the council and the country to achieve their net zero targets, prevent further deforestation and halt biodiversity loss. What we need now is modelling and leadership from local authorities - from Camden Borough council, by committing to serve 100% plant-based fare at internal meetings and events.”


All councillors present agreed to 100% plant-based catering at internal meetings on a trial basis to determine the cost implications for the council.


Councillor Awale Olad, who was chairing the meeting, made the final statement:


“The committee is 100% behind this, we fully endorse your deputation… We’ll continue to scrutinise this and monitor this and see how the council delivers on this going forwards.”


This follows two similar deputations that have been heard at Camden Full Council meetings in 2023 [5]. In March 2023 Councillors on Oxford City Council unanimously supported a motion which would ensure that all food provided in internal catering is plant-based [4]. The council will also work with local farmers to support their move to create more plant-based produce, and establish a free plant-based food service, to help tackle the cost of living crisis. 


A successful motion was passed at Oxfordshire County Council in 2021 and Exeter City Council in 2022 to serve fully plant based food and drink at all catered meetings and events [4]. 


Plant-based Councils, an Animal Rising campaign, is a national initiative of local residents who are pushing for their councils to adopt 100% plant-based catering. The group claims that local authorities have a responsibility to follow the current scientific consensus, which acknowledges the environmental, health and cost benefits of plant-based meals over those containing meat and dairy. The campaign is active in over 45 councils, with the group encouraging interested residents to sign up to run a local campaign.



ENDS.


Word count: 670


For more information or further comments, please contact info@plantbasedcouncils.org



NOTES TO EDITORS:


[1]  The Plant-Based Councils campaign aims to address the climate emergency starting with the food on our plates. Working with councils across the UK to encourage them to lead the way in the switch from emission heavy foods to plant-based ones that are better for health, our planet and reducing the impact of the cost of living crisis.   



[3] Meeting recording: 


Oxfordshire County Council votes to serve fully plant-based food at all council-catered events  https://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/plant-based-food/ 

Exeter City Council votes to serve 100% plant-based food at catered meetings https://news.exeter.gov.uk/council-pledges-to-raise-awareness-of-the-benefits-of-plant-based-food/ 

Cambridge City Council votes to serve 100% plant-based food at catered meetings https://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=5423


[5] Deputation by Catherine Jacobs February 2023:



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