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Protest Sparked by Reversal of Sustainable Catering Commitment by Worcester Mayor

  • On 04/06/24 outside the Environment Committee meeting of Worcester Council, supporters of Plant-Based Councils called for stronger climate action on food rather than backtracking on progress.[1][2]

  • In February, Worcester’s previous Mayor Louis Stephen took meat off the menu at Mayoral events to reduce emissions.[3]

  • On 03/06/24, the Cabinet of Calderdale Council voted unanimously to recommend a catering policy committing to 100% plant-based food in internal catering.[4]

  • Councils such as Oxfordshire County, and city councils in Cambridge, Oxford and Exeter have voted to ensure that all food provided at council events is plant-based.[5]

Yesterday (04/06/24), residents gathered outside The Guildhall in Worcester to protest the decision by new Mayor Mel Allcott to put meat back on the menu at Mayoral events.[2] This comes just months after previous Mayor Louis Stephen decided to stop serving meat at Mayoral events to reduce environmental impacts, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions.[3] 

The Plant-Based Councils supporters called for stronger climate action on food rather than the undoing of progress. Just this week, on 03/06/24, the Cabinet of Calderdale Council voted unanimously to recommend a catering policy committing to 100% plant-based food in internal catering.[4]

Helen Taylor, student said:

“In 2019 the IPCC said that reducing meat consumption is a substantial opportunity to mitigate climate change because plant-based sources of proteins produce up to 70% less emissions than meat. Worcester Council has a responsibility to champion this change by showing residents that eating plant-based food can be delicious, nutritious, and cost effective.” [6][7]  

Craig Welsby, ranger said:

“The council can support UK farmers by sourcing local, seasonal plant foods. Plant-based catering in the council will inspire residents to eat plant-based food themselves and demonstrate how serious this issue is.”

Motions to promote and encourage plant-based eating have been debated by councils across the UK and motions have been carried by city councils in Exeter, Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich to ensure food provided at council meetings and events is plant-based.[5] 

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 and implement a Plant-Based Action Plan. The group claims that local authorities have a responsibility to follow the current scientific consensus, which acknowledges the environmental, public 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.


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[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.

[5] Exeter City Council votes to ensure that all food and drink provided at catered meetings is 100% plant-based: 

Oxfordshire County Council votes to ensure all food provided at council catered events is fully plant-based:  

[6] Shiermeier, Quirin, ‘Eat Less meat: UN climate-change report calls for change to human diet’, Nature, August 2019:

[7] Springmann, Marco et al., ‘Analysis and valuation of the health and climate change cobenefits of dietary change’, The Proceedings on the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 21 March 2016. <>



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