ProVeg has been campaigning for the EU Schools Programme to include plant milk
The German government has approved a new nutrition strategy, called “Good Food for Germany”, which calls for plant-based milk to be included in the massive EU Schools Programme. The scheme currently delivers dairy milk, fruit and vegetables to 20 million children across the 27 Member State bloc but not plant-based milk.
“This represents a huge boost for the campaign that ProVeg has been running” Jasmijn de Boo, Global CEO of ProVeg International, said.
“Plant-based milks fortified with calcium are sustainable and healthy options that should be included in the School Programme as European society shifts towards a more plant-based diet. Offering plant-based milks will help the EU to decarbonise society and, at the same time, allow for greater choice for those who do not want to drink cow’s milk with their school meal,” de Boo said.
Plant-based milks can be rich in nutrients. In particular, soya milk naturally contains the same amount of protein as cow’s milk, with about 3 g per 100 ml. Due to the fact that many manufacturers fortify soya milk with calcium and other vitamins, such as B12, B2, D, and A, nutrition experts state that it can be used as a nutritionally adequate alternative to cow’s milk (1).
Compared to plant milk, cow’s milk has the biggest environmental impact in terms of global greenhouse gas emissions and land and water use. For example, a litre of cow’s milk requires more than 22 times more water and roughly 12 times more land, and emits three times more greenhouse gas emissions than a litre of soya milk. Other types of plant milk such as oat milk are similarly sustainable (2).
The EU School Programme delivered 118 million litres of milk to children in the 2021/2022 school year. ProVeg issued a position paper on its stance on plant-based milk in the EU and can be found here.
- Mäkinen O. E., Wanhalinna V., Zannini E. et al. (2016): Foods for Special Dietary Needs: Non-dairy Plant-based Milk Substitutes and Fermented Dairy-type Products. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 56, p.339–349
- ProVeg e.V. (2019): Plant Milk Report. Berlin. Available at: https://proveg.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/PV_Plant_Milk_Report_281019-1.pdf [21/07/21].
Notes to Editors
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About ProVeg International
ProVeg International is a food awareness organisation with the mission to replace 50% of animal products globally with plant-based and cultivated foods by 2040. Our vision is a world where everyone chooses delicious and healthy food that is good for all humans, animals, and our planet.