Norwich endorses pioneering Plant Based Treaty

3rd April , 2023

The Plant-based Food Alliance UK has welcomed Norwich City Council’s endorsement of an international treaty to promote plant-based diets, reduce animal agriculture and restore ecosystems and forests.


The council endorsed the Plant Based Treaty at a full council meeting in March to join 20 other towns and cities worldwide – including Haywards Heath and Edinburgh in the UK –  who are also formally calling for the treaty to be adopted.


“We congratulate Norwich on taking this step to endorse the Plant Based Treaty and hope the UK Government will start to take note of the treaty and the urgent actions it promotes,” Marisa Heath, PBFA CEO, said.


“The more towns and cities that come out to endorse the treaty, the greater the chance of making it a reality. Transitioning to plant-based diets is vital to help us bring down carbon emissions and keep within internationally agreed climate targets,” Heath said.


The Plant Based Treaty was launched in 2021 and those signing on to it acknowledge that current food systems are contributing to planetary decline through high greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and biodiversity loss. Most of the towns and cities that have endorsed it so far are in India but the number of UK supporters are increasing. 


At a full council meeting of Norwich City Council held on 14 March, a motion was introduced by Councillor Alex Catt and seconded by Councillor Jamie Osborn from the Green Party which states the following: 


“Producing a kilo of beef creates, on average, 12 times more CO2 than a kilo of tofu or other soya-based proteins. Meanwhile, producing a litre of dairy milk uses, on average, at least four times as much land as producing a litre of plant milk… As well as a smaller carbon footprint, eating more plant-based foods also reduces the land footprint of our diets and would improve UK food security and self-sufficiency, thereby making our diets more local.”


The council will now write to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs supporting the UK’s endorsement of the Plant Based Treaty as a companion to the Paris Agreement. They will also write to Norfolk County Council to request a carbon impact assessment of meat and dairy industries across the county and ask what steps are being taken to reduce this in line with the target to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.