The Veg Project
Peas Please brings together farmers, retailers, fast food and restaurant chains, caterers, processors and government departments with a common goal of making it easier for everyone to eat veg.
Nourish, WWF-UK and Food Cardiff are supporting the Food Foundation in this new exciting initiative.
Between November 2016 and June 2017, we are exploring the levers along the supply chain which have the potential to increase vegetable consumption in a sustainable manner. Peas Please recognises that, to date, education programmes have not had the desired impact. So this project will focus on the wealth of opportunities there are, in the supply chain, for increasing vegetable intake -improving the availability, acceptability (including convenience), affordability, and quality of the vegetable offer in shops, schools, fast food restaurants and beyond.
There are five peas in our Peas Please pod:
- Pleasure – making our veg delicious whenever we eat it and connecting us to where our veg comes from
- Producers –growing veg sustainably at all different scales
- Prices that work for producers and consumers
- Products – new ways of getting veg into what we buy and eat every day
- Placement – more prominence in shops and on menus, more places to buy it in towns and cities
The project aims to secure commitments, embedded within an accountability framework, from industry and government to improve the vegetable offer, and stimulate increased consumption among the UK public, particularly children and those on a low income. You can read a full concept note of the project here.
In Autumn 2016, 15-20 high-level participants from multiple sectors and sub-sectors within the food industry, creative industries and digital industries attended a retreat. This focused on reaching agreement on the key supply side barriers (inc. gov policy, practice and legislation) to vegetable consumption within and beyond the following themes:
- UK vegetable production
- Routes to market
- Point of sale, advertising, and formulation
- Waste and packaging
- Public provision
- Innovation and R&D
See a video of the Retreat here.
On November 7th 2016, we simultaneously launched the project in London, Cardiff and Glasgow.
Nourish Director Pete Ritchie introduced the project at the Scotland Launch – you can see the presentation here. We also heard from Peter Midgley from Food Standards Scotland, Wendy Russell from the Rowett Institute and Margaret Fraser and John Thorburn from NG Homes.
The Scottish launch was a very positive event, with attendees from many different sectors and backgrounds. There was unanimous support for the project, although everyone agreed that the challenges to increasing veg intake are multifold and substantial.
You can see the Storify of the three simultaneous launches here.
In the months after the launch, a series of workshops took place to review in more detail the barriers and identify supply chain solutions. Experts were invited to join these workshops to provide advice and evidence on specific areas. From this eight working groups emerged. Please click below for more info:
Nourish director Pete Ritchie co-chairs the Veg in Everything and the Veg Direct workstreams.
If you would like to be kept up to date or be involved in a working group, you can register your support and interest in the project here (Food Foundation website). If you live in Scotland and want to contribute to Scotland-specific working groups, you can also get in touch with Pete.
With a clear picture of what needs to change and can change, we will seek commitments from the Ministers, business leaders, and third sector leaders in line with the recommendations in a final summit in London on 7th June 2917. We will also hold a Scottish summit in Scotland later in June, TBC. You can download the draft commitment framework here.