Shift away from meat could start from prisons and schools, say scientists

Plant-based burgers should be available at scale in public institutions to promote the uptake of alternative proteins, according to a report

Prisons, schools, hospitals and government offices could stimulate the public’s appetite for vegan food products.

That’s one of the findings of a new report by sustainability consultancy Systemiq and the University of Exeter, which suggests using public institutions to purchase alternative proteins in large quantities would rapidly increase demand for these products and cut costs for producers.

The scientific team estimates that public institutions spend £2.4 billion on food every year in the UK alone – this spending could unlock a real potential of the plant-based protein market value, estimated at $30 billion (£24.3bn) annually worldwide.

Wider access to plant-based products could shift ‘social norms’ around meat consumption, scientists suggest.

This could have a real impact on agriculture by reducing emissions from livestock farming, according to the report which was presented at the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos.

It is estimated that livestock farming alone accounts for nearly 8% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

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