Embargoed for 00.01 on Monday 8th October
- 4 Scottish companies are among 10 major UK caterers making commitments to the Peas Please initiative to increase vegetable consumption
- Peas Please has delivered 4.8 million additional portions of veg in its first year
- For every 3 meals eaten out of the home, it’s estimated we currently only consume about 0.5 portion of veg.
- 3 in 4 adults don’t manage the recommended minimum 5 portions of fruit and veg per day, with strong inequalities between different levels of income: those on highest incomes eat a whole portion more than those on lowest incomes
- BaxterStorey at City of Glasgow College, Albacore, CEC Catering, and Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh are among the companies to make a Veg Pledge.
- Collectively, they pledge to increase the veg they serve us by 15-20%, helping over 100K people eat more veg in 2019 and beyond.
- The full set of Peas Please pledgers will be announced at the Vegetable Summit at City Hall on 8th
Vegetable Summit, 8th October 2018 – Today four Scottish businesses join the UK-wide Peas Please initiative to put more vegetables on our plates.
For every 3 meals eaten out, we only consume about 0.5 portion of veg, estimated the independent think tank the Food Foundation. This is about to change. Caterers Albacore, CEC Catering, BaxterStorey at City of Glasgow College, and Dynamic Earth Enterprises have joined the Peas Please initiative to play their part in making veg more accessible and more appealing for Scottish consumers. These companies are unveiling their commitment today alongside major UK caterers Bartlett-Mitchell and Vacherin. They join Sodexo, BaxterStorey and Interserve who made pledges in 2017.
The four Scottish businesses collectively feed over 105,000 people each year and are all committing to substantially increase the quantity of veg they serve each day.
Peas Please is coordinated by partner organisations in each of the four UK nations, and aims to bring together companies and brands to make it easier for people to eat veg. Businesses are invited to make commitments for how they will help us all eat more veg.
The motivation is simple: to save lives. 3 in 4 adults don’t manage the recommended minimum 5 portions of fruit and veg per day, with strong inequalities between different levels of income: those on lowest incomes eat a whole portion less than those on highest incomes. Yet, for every one of your five-a-day eaten, your risk of premature death decreases by 5%. Eating more veg helps prevent diet-related chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and would significantly reduce the subsequent financial burden on the NHS.
Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick MSP said: “The Peas Please project has made excellent progress in its first year, and it is great to see major caterers and providers of workplace meals pledge to provide more vegetables in their meals. People in Scotland eat 3.3 portions of fruit and vegetables each day on average. While that’s among the highest levels during the past 15 years, we want to improve this and get more people eating more fruit and veg every day.”
Iconic venue Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh is stepping up to support veg consumption, and will include more veg options, and more veg in main meals for visitors, aiming to serve at least 10% more veg in 2019.
Susan Paton, Café Manager at Dynamic Earth, said: “We are really excited to be part of the Peas Please campaign and are looking forward to encouraging all the families who visit Dynamic Earth to adopt healthier lifestyles.”
BaxterStorey at the City of Glasgow College have pledged to serve 20% more veg to the 5000 students they cater for on a daily basis. They will also try to inspire students to eat more veg through pop up stands, events with veg demos, and Veg days throughout the academic year.
Mike Hanson, Head of Sustainable Business at BaxterStorey, said: “We are proud to be working with City of Glasgow College to deliver the great health and environmental benefits of eating more veg to students. Not only are we excited to be creating innovative and nutritious dishes which make veg the star of the plate; we are proud to play a part in leading the change towards a more sustainable hospitality industry.”
Willie McCurrach, Head of Curriculum for Food at City of Glasgow College, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be part of this new exciting project. we run a Bistro in the College which is both a teaching space as well as a realistic work environment which already offers healthy choices but our students are reluctant to try and eat fresh vegetables, so we hope to make changes for the better. We are also growing our own vegetable so that the students can harvest, cook, and eat the vegetables to understand the quality and freshness.”
CEC Catering, who cater for 700 people in staff canteens, have committed to increase the amount of vegetable they serve each day by 20% at each of its four sites within the next year.
Chris Davidson, Director of CEC-Catering, said: “CEC-Catering is proud to be involved in the Peas Please initiative. We feel that offering more vegetables to our customers is an important part of our service. It encourages healthy eating throughout the workforce, which we hope will filter down to the grass roots of family life. The extra portions of vegetables that we offer are affordable and sustainable, good for both the environment and the consumer.”
Albacore is another caterer stepping up to the plate, pledging to offer 15% more veg, and run various promotions and activities to encourage their 480 customers to choose vegetable-based dishes.
Nicola Harrison, Director of Sales at Albacore, said: “Within Albacore, we believe that the campaign will positively support the initiatives we have already introduced to improve the health of our customers. We pledge that we will focus on increasing the current purchase of vegetables by 15% by October 2019. This will be achieved by education, promotion, marketing and nutritional expertise. Investment will be made available to all appropriate contracts to help to achieve this target and reward those who make the increase happen. This is an important commitment made by the business to improve the wellbeing of our clients’ employees.”
Other new Peas Please pledgers in Scotland include the Chefs@School programme, who pledged to reach 6,000 children with new veg-focused educational resources, along with football centre chain GOALS with centres in Glasgow and Aberdeen, who will introduce veg as a starter to their party menus.
London City Hall will play host to the Vegetable Summit 2018 on 8th October as participants in the initiative celebrate the impact already made by Peas Please, announce major new pledges, welcome Northern Ireland as a new partner4, and launch the Peas Please 2018 Progress Report.
Pete Ritchie, Executive Director of Nourish Scotland, said: “It is fantastic to see Scottish catering businesses join a UK-wide effort to increase veg consumption. We all know we should be eating more vegetables, but until the companies putting food on our plates step up and offer us more, and more appealing, veg options, it is very hard to make the healthy choices. These companies are leading the way to change, by making it easier for people to eat their 5-a-day”
Anna Taylor, Executive Director of the Food Foundation, said: “Peas Please shows that it is possible to make it easier for everyone to eat more veg but it needs concerted leadership from progressive businesses. We’ve made great progress in the last 8 months but the pressure is now on to change pledges into portions to ensure genuine impact on the nation’s health.”
Notes to Editors
Contact: Celia Nyssens 07462011373 / firstname.lastname@example.org
References for figures quoted above:
- Health benefits of veg: Food Foundation – Veg Facts
- Veg eaten out of the home: Food Foundation methodology
- 5-a-day statistics: Scottish Health Survey 2017
- Peas Please portions to date: Peas Please Progress Report
Logos and further references available here.
Social Media: #PeasPlease
About Peas Please
A trail-blazing initiative focused specifically on veg, Peas Please aims to bring 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. Committed to collaborative working, Peas Pease is led by project partners the Food Foundation, WWF UK, Nourish Scotland, Food NI and Food Cardiff who have secured engagement and support from over 150 organisations in cities, business and Governments across the UK to bring about change to the whole food system to improve people’s health and wellbeing.
Find more information about Peas Please here.