Historic meeting at House of Lords heralds political debut for plant-based food sector

15th July , 2022

Members of the Plant-based Food Alliance UK gathered in the House of Lords this week to hold their first public meeting to discuss political priorities for the booming plant-based food and drink sector. 

The growing Alliance is strongly positioned to further trade, sustainability, health and animal welfare goals in the U.K. as it pushes the country to transition to more plant-based diets. The U.K. is already the leading European market for plant-based food consumption, and nearly a quarter of Brits describe themselves as “flexitarian”.

Meeting for the first time in the House of Lords on the 12th of July, the Alliance was welcomed to Parliament by Baroness Jenkin, who acknowledged the huge role the sector plays as the country seeks to meet health and climate targets. Alliance CEO Marisa Heath then opened up the debate to representatives from the farming, industry, Government and NGO sectors to further talk about the direction the plant-based sector is taking. 

“The highly innovative nature of the plant-based sector means that it not only offers chances to bolster the economy of the U.K., it also presents solid solutions to the encroaching climate crisis,” Marisa said. “Transitioning to a more plant-based diet is the way to go to help bring down methane and C02 emissions, supporting the nation’s commitment to Net Zero by 2050.” 

The Alliance, set up only eight months ago, has a contingent of both industry and NGO members, including Oatly, Alpro, Upfield, The Vegan Society, Good Food Institute and ProVeg U.K.  It has already engaged with a number of MPs to explain the work of the sector and has developed good relationships with both the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade.

“We are seeing an uptick in interest among companies wanting to become part of the Alliance as they see how joining together strengthens our political advantage,” Marisa said. “The more members we have from both the commercial sector and NGOs, the louder our voice will be,” she added.

To get in contact with the Alliance about becoming a member, email marisa@plantbasedfoodalliance.co.uk.