After in December 2021, Oxfordshire County Council was the first local authority in the UK to go plant-based in all its internal meetings, now Oxford City Council, the local authority of the capital of this county, has followed suit. On 20th March 2023, the council unanimously voted in favour of the Plant-based Food and Sustainable Farming proposal, which states, “follow Oxfordshire County Council’s lead by ensuring that food provided for internal councillor events are entirely plant-based and food provided at all council catered events and meetings include plant-based options, preferably using ingredients sourced from local food surplus organisations.”
Additionally, the council has pledged to support community groups “to form a plant-based localised free food service,” and called on the Shareholder group to work with all Council run companies to encourage moving to have plant-based catering options by April 2023. Several local authorities have already gone plant-based, such as the ones for Cambridge, Exeter, and Norwich.
Paula Dunne, the councillor who proposed the motion, said: ‘In the UK we eat twice as much meat and dairy as the global average. This is not sustainable on a finite planet, as there is not enough land in the world to meet this demand. The rate at which we are eating meat and dairy is the leading cause of modern species extinctions.”
During the Council’s meeting, councillor Anna Railton said it was the council’s responsibility to “encourage our residents to look at their own diets and reduce their meat and dairy consumption”, and “We do not need a handful of people like ourselves being vegan, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” Luckily, this reducetarian approach did not prevail and all animal products will be banned from the catering of all internal meetings at the council.