Caterers urged to provide environmentally-friendly vegan food options this NHS Sustainability Day

The Vegan Society is calling on hospital caterers to provide nutritious, environmentally-friendly and ethical vegan food this NHS Sustainability Day (22 March).

The move follows Anglia Crown, a manufacturer and supplier of prepared foods to UK hospitals, becoming the first to register its range of new exciting vegan dishes with the Vegan Trademark.

The charity is offering to help hospital food manufacturers and caterers develop their vegan offerings as part of its Catering for Everyone campaign which has launched today (22 March).

Heather Russell, Dietitian at The Vegan Society, said: “We are pleased Anglia Crown are so enthusiastic about providing nutritious food that can be enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike.

“The Vegan Trademark is a beacon to catering services looking to enhance their vegan offerings.

“I enjoyed talking to Anglia Crown about creating nourishing vegan options, and I hope that other manufacturers will be inspired to develop their vegan ranges too.”

Veganism has been found to come within the scope of international human rights provisions and vegans in the UK are protected under human rights and equality law.

Anglia Crown supplies meals to 100 UK hospitals, and its new vegan meals have the potential to influence the inclusivity, sustainability and nutritional quality of menus across the UK.

The range includes dishes such as a butternut squash curry, Moroccan vegetable tagine and pasta peperonata.

Ruth Smith, Company Dietitian at Anglia Crown, said: “Working with The Vegan Society during the enhancement of our vegan range was really insightful and helped provide practical tips on how to easily create tasty vegan dishes that are popular across the board.

“It was also helpful to ensure that nutritionally these products achieve the necessary energy and protein levels.”

Stewart McKenzie, Chair of the Hospital Caterers Association, said: “We are delighted to support The Vegan Society in their campaign for nutritious vegan meals on public sector catering menus. As an association we aim to promote, develop and improve the standards of catering in hospitals.”

Scott Buckler, Campaign Manager at NHS Sustainability Day, said: “Food plays a huge role in the Sustainable Development agenda within the NHS. It is hugely important we support environmentally-friendly and ethical vegan food and we commend both The Vegan Society and Anglia Crown.”

The Vegan Society’s Catering for Everyone campaign aims to influence legislative change to ensure vegan food provision in public institutions.

The charity is hoping to inspire other caterers to improve their vegan menu and is offering help to any hospitals, prisons or public sector canteens who come forward.

Anyone interested can contact The Vegan Society at nutrition@vegansociety.com or on 0121 523 1737.

Patient quotes:

A stay in hospital can be a difficult time, and make you feel vulnerable. Unfortunately, many vegans have to overcome the added challenge of getting the right food. These are the experiences of some of our members:

“One hospital really understood what vegan meals were. Finding that they understood my needs and could cater for me made the hospital stay less stressful. In contrast, during a stay at another hospital, the lack of vegan food made my stay there less relaxing… I was dependent on my wife to arrange food for me. For patients without family support things must be much worse.” – Andrew

“I would like there to be a time that vegans only have to have a concern about having a medical procedure rather than having to worry about being catered for.” – Marie

“I was left lying on a hospital bed trying to work out for myself what I could eat when I didn’t even know what ingredients the hospital had in their kitchen. Apart from already feeling physically ill, the lack of care for my dietary requirements made me feel awful emotionally and socially. It made me feel like an outsider and so this increased sense of loneliness added to my existing distress and definitely slowed my recovery.” – Samantha

For more information

Please contact Sam Calvert, Head of Communications at The Vegan Society. media@vegansociety.com / +44 (0)121 523 1736 (office) / +44 (0)7967 042050 (out of hours).

Heather Russell is available for TV, radio or written press interviews about public sector catering food provision or vegan nutrition more generally.

About The Vegan Society

The Vegan Society is a registered educational charity (no. 279228) that provides information and guidance on various aspects of veganism, including to new and potential vegans, caterers, healthcare professionals, educators and the media. Visit www.vegansociety.com for more information.

About Anglia Crown

Anglia Crown is an award-winning prepared chilled and frozen meal manufacturer for the healthcare sector in the UK. It works with more than 100 hospital sites, either directly with each NHS Trust or via partner suppliers such as facility management companies or contract caterers. Anglia Crown is part of Bakkavor, a leading international manufacturer of fresh prepared foods, employing more than 18,000 people worldwide across 43 operating facilities. Visit www.angliacrown.co.uk for more information.