EVU Supports Findings In The Smart Protein Report Policy Initiatives to Promote Climate-Friendly Diets in Europe
The European Vegetarian Union (EVU) has expressed its support for the latest Policy Brief published by the Smart Protein project, which emphasises the need for policy tools to transition Europeans towards more climate-friendly diets. The EVU acknowledges the significance of the report’s findings and calls on relevant stakeholders to take urgent action in implementing the recommended policy initiatives.
The policy brief highlights several key measures that the EU should adopt to encourage the take-up of plant-based diets. One of the proposed measures is the implementation of sustainability labels on food products, providing information on their carbon footprint, water usage, and transport miles. By making this information transparent, consumers can make informed choices that align with their environmental values.
The report stresses the importance of removing VAT on fruits and vegetables throughout the EU. Currently, only four member states have a 0% VAT rate on these. By expanding this initiative, more individuals will have access to affordable and nutritious options, further promoting the shift towards sustainable diets.
The Smart Protein Policy Brief also advocates for the promotion of plant-based foods in public institutions such as schools, hospitals, and other government institutions. By introducing plant-based meal options in these settings, healthier eating habits can be encouraged, whilst at the same time reducing the environmental impact associated with animal agriculture. This is something the EVU has encouraged, most recently through a joint position paper on the EU School Scheme.
The report also draws attention to the disparity in funding allocated to alternative proteins under the EU’s Horizon Europe programme. The EVU calls for increased investment in research and development for plant-based innovations to drive progress in the transition to more sustainable food systems.
The Smart Protein project report provides clear recommendations for the European Commission to address four key areas: labelling and marketing, public food procurement, VAT rates, and subsidies. The proposed initiatives include the introduction of a front-of-pack sustainability labelling scheme, establishing EU-wide definitions for terms such as “vegan” and “vegetarian” and allowing plant-based products to use conventional meat and dairy names.