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Where next for plant based innovation and its role in a just transition to better diets?


Examples of plant based innovation

What inspiring examples are you seeing of plant based innovation contributing to equitable access to healthy and sustainable diets? Please share in comments. You can also add signals of change by clicking on the Submit a signal button.

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  • Roberta Iley says:

    Prescription programmes or vouchers for healthy foods – such as Wholesome Wave and Rose Vouchers – that enable low-income families to buy more fresh produce.

  • Geraldine Gilbert says:

    In the UK, the University of West London’s Undergraduate degree in Future Food and Culinary Management integrates sustainability and nutrition, to improve skills and knowledge (including on preparing tasty, healthy plant-based food, as well as other topics). It’s woven throughout the whole degree, so it becomes a normal part of mainstream training, rather than optional or niche.

  • Geraldine Gilbert says:

    Charlie Cart is a self-contained mobile mini-kitchen that enables cooking classes to take place anywhere, from schools and food banks to farmers’ markets and libraries. It makes it possible to teach about food and nutrition anywhere; the programme includes a full curriculum and a support network to empower educators as they deliver fun, engaging, hands-on classes.

  • Geraldine Gilbert says:

    “Les Licoornes” is a collective of community interest co-operatives in France, set up to enable the shift towards a more co-operative and sustainable economic model. The aim is to support the development of co-operatives based on solidarity, sustainability, democracy and increasing equality (by re-investing all profits and capping salaries). The 9 founding members cover activities such as telecoms, mobility, energy, banking, and food – the latter providing an open-source platform to buy and sell food straight from producers, that is local, ethical, organic…

  • UK brand Hodmedods works with British farmers to build commercially viable supply chains for forgotten local pulses and grains, enabling more local access to, and a greater diversity of, healthy, sustainable sources of plant-based foods.

  • Heru Urban Farming in St Louis in the US grows healthy, fresh produce for the local community, especially the most food insecure, while also providing education and training on growing, cooking and healthy living. This improves the local availability of affordable, healthy, tasty foods while building food skills and knowledge.

  • Geraldine Gilbert says:

    Belgian supermarket Delhaize offers all customers with a SuperPlus loyalty card an automatic 5% discount on their shopping basket, which increases to 15% on more than 5,000 products with the “Nutri-Score” healthy product rating A or B – which includes all fruit and vegetables. The more healthy products you buy, the more discount you get. The loyalty card also helps shoppers track the Nutri-Score profile of their shopping baskets – incentivizing and supporting shoppers to move towards more healthy foods. (Example shared by Valentine Papeians de Morchoven of Ahold Delhaize)

  • Although now scuppered due to COVID19 – London based Vevolution events were ground breaking in terms of how they showcased, highlighted and brought together innovators in the plant-based/vegan movement. They combined inspirational Ted Talk inspired approach to talks – like Vegan Ted Talks – and showcased innovators, community projects, documentary makers etc. They created a community and brought together vegan innovators – food, beauty, clothing, social good – in one space.

  • Is it inappropriate to add your own project here??? Well here goes anyway. Made In Hackney was started in 2012 as the UK’s first all vegan community cookery school. We collaboration with our community we innovated a huge range of plant-based cookery classes which tackled a selection of hurdles to plant-based eating – price point, time, family requirements, access, cultural needs – and ensured we had lessons/courses that addressed all of these things such as Feed Four For £3s, Fifteen Minute Meals & Cooking For One. We also offered core skills such as vegan cheese, vegan fish, vegan meats, vegan ‘eggs’ – ensuring people could create the tastes and textures they miss but using wholefoods and know the skills to work with these plant-based ingredients.
    We offer a huge range of cultural cuisines such as Mexican, Nigerian, Gujarati, Trinidadian, Indian Street Food, Italian – and treat classes such as vegan baking, nourishing treats, pancakes and more.
    We were the first community cookery school with an all vegan policy to work in children’s centres, schools and with the NHS and Public Health as we had a respectful, open approach to diet and focused on inspiring and giving people the skills to get comfortable with eating more 100% plant-based/vegan meals – rather than insisting everyone be 100% vegan. Since we opened we’ve worked with over 20,000 people.

  • Life After Hummus is a CIC based in Somers Town. They teach people a huge range of multicultural vegan cuisines in large classes in community halls. They focus on showcasing diverse chefs and health experts who lead classes in a range of vegan multicultural cuisines. Like MIH they’ve also been providing emergency food during the covid19 outbreak but focused on shopping provisions, assistance with accessing benefits and other wrap around services. So they care for their community in a number of ways and plant-based foods are at the centre of that provision but not exclusive too.

  • Ruth Chalke says:

    Brighton & Hove Food Partnership is a non-profit organisation helping people learn to cook, eat a healthy diet, grow their own food and waste less food (B&H is also the first ‘gold’ rated ‘Sustainable Food Place’). They teach people to eat sustainably/healthy on a limited budget or with minimal equipment. They run a community kitchen where people pay for professional cooking classes, and the money goes to provide classes for those unable to afford it.

  • Ruth Chalke says:

    Examples of apps helping to reduce food waste:
    Too Good to Go – restaurants/food shops post food at the end of their trading hours for a discounted price so it’s not wasted

    Olio – connects people with neighbours to gift food (and non-food items) that would otherwise go to waste.

  • Ruth Chalke says:

    Culinary Medicine ( is a course combining nutrition and culinary knowledge to assist doctors to learn the foundations of clinical nutrition as well as how best to motivate their patients to lead healthier lives using food.

  • Ruth Chalke says:

    Agritecture ( – a consultancy that helps people create food forests within cities or places that don’t typically have arable land. E.g. growing food on barges, in car parks or playgrounds. Vertical farms to circumvent lack of space.

  • Ruth Chalke says:

    Food Foundation’s ‘Veg Summit 2021: Healthy Horizon for Horticulture’ – example of how the Netherlands are trying to increase F&V and whole plant foods into diets. Trial with supermarket to increase buying of these foods through ‘nudges’: posters of F&V in trolleys, on floors, banner stands, plus examples of F&V that go well with other food items, plus online presence. Can watch webinar or read slides here…

  • christine says:

    Collaboration between Alpro UK and fareshare:
    FareShare is the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, redistributing surplus food from the food industry through a network of more than 10,500 charities and community groups across the UK.
    By providing recipe leaflets and info, people can learn how easy it is to integrate plantbased alternatives to dairy in the everyday cooking habits.

  • Efforts to help people cook with plant-based foods can be seen in Stanford University. There, a student group are doing just this and teaching and equipping people with cooking skills.

  • Attitude shift generally towards plants, vegetables and different ingredients in the schools. Starting to normalise these within the education system.

  • Food pharmacy e.g. in Oregon, is a common initiative with doctors prescribing vegetables as preventative medicine. Here, barriers to access are reduced as the food and health system are intertwined.

  • Future Fit Foods’ line of nutritious, sustainably sourced, freeze-dried soups is the company’s first step in its mission to reinvent food from ingredients to packaging — and truly democratize sustainable nutrition.

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