Plant-Based Milk in School Rejected: European Parliament Fails Children and the Planet
Members of the European Parliament have voted not to offer plant-based milks in schools, with the majority failing to include the drinks in their initiative…
Members of the European Parliament have voted not to offer plant-based milks in schools, with the majority failing to include the drinks in their initiative reports on the EU School Scheme.
“It is shocking that an ambitious reform of our diets is still considered a taboo” ~ Compassion in World Farming
The move has been described as a “missed opportunity” by ProVeg International, as it excludes children who cannot or do not want to drink cows’ milk. The organisation noted that some milk alternatives, such as soy and pea, are equally nutritious to dairy with a much lower environmental impact.
ProVeg said the School Scheme was falling short of its potential to offer environmentally friendly products to children across Europe. Including plant milks would also be in line with the Food Systems Framework initiative, which aims to make European diets more sustainable. However, the vote is not a final decision.
“We are very disappointed by the outcome of this vote, but we are hopeful that the European Commission will still move ahead and include plant-based drinks in the scheme as part of their review, which is out at the end of the year,” said Lucia Hortelano, EU Policy Manager at ProVeg International.
The news comes after a report published by the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee in March also failed to support change, instead suggesting that dairy products should be promoted more. This was in spite of the fact that 72% of participants in a public consultation said they were in favour of funding milk alternatives in schools, while a petition on the subject gained tens of thousands of signatures last year.
“In light of the climate emergency and societal demands for more ethical and sustainable foods, it is shocking that an ambitious reform of our diets is still considered a taboo in the House representing European citizens,” said Olga Kikou, head of Compassion in World Farming EU.
“Many children do not drink cow’s milk for medical, ethical, taste, cultural or environmental reasons. A year before the EU elections, deputies keep letting their constituents down. All that to continue the overconsumption of animal products for as long as possible. We urge the European Commission to take into consideration the needs of our times when drafting the proposal,” she adds.plant-based oatly dairy products milk soy funding