ESS, the UK logistical support services provider specialised in catering for government departments,  has announced a collaboration with the MOD Vegan & Vegetarian Network to help members of the Armed Forces with their plant-based requirements. 

Based on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) site in St Athan, Wales, this Network connects vegans and vegetarians across the three British arm services to support and educate each other with new ideas and policies. The first Annual General Meeting of the Network happened in April 2022, to promote and celebrate the Network with members and some external vegan-friendly parties. This year the MoD gave its employees a day off if they wanted to attend a vegan conference organised by the Network this month.

ESS provides soft facilities services to 250 military establishments in the UK, and is already working to offer more plant-based options and less meat on its menus. The company’s core menu is already 27% vegetarian or vegan, while a further 30% of dishes are plant-forward (meaning at least 30% of the meat has been replaced with plants). The new partnership will help to further increase these options.

Sophie Foxen, Squadron Leader and chair of the MOD Vegan & Vegetarian Network said, “Working with ESS is part of providing a positive ethical, environmentally friendly, and healthy culture in the MOD… We want to see enthusiasm for high-quality vegan and vegetarian food throughout the MOD. Overall, as more working adults become vegan or vegetarian, we believe our partnership with ESS is important to help ensure that the MOD doesn’t miss out on recruiting or retaining some top talent.”

Scott Freeman, Culinary Director at ESS Defence, said, “It’s important that we listen to our customers and by partnering with the MOD Vegan & Vegetarian Network, ESS will respond to the needs of those choosing to have a vegan or vegetarian diet in a really meaningful way… Vegan and vegetarian food is delicious, healthy, and great for our planet, and we’ll be working with the Network to further develop and promote these options. This is building on our focus of reducing meat on our menus, supporting health and sustainability targets.”

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.