On 17th November 2023, in the second attempt to achieve this after the first vote failed in 2022, the students at the University of Warwick, UK, have now voted for their Students’ Union to adopt a 50% plant-based catering by the 2024-25 academic year and increase it to 100% by the 2027-28 academic year. Hopefully, no new votes will take place before then that could reverse this decision.
The motion was proposed by organisers of the Plant-Based Universities campaign and got 53% of the votes (774 votes in favour, 518 against, and 180 abstentions). This makes Warwick the UK’s eighth Students’ Union to adopt a motion toward a plant-based catering, following Stirling, Cambridge, Birmingham, London Metropolitan, Queen Mary University of London, University College London, and Kent.
Vivek Venkatram, Plant-Based Universities Warwick Campaigner and President of Warwick’s Vegetarian and Vegan Society said, “We are delighted to see this straightforward and sensible motion pass with huge backing across the university today. This marks a clear step in the right direction for our university. The need for a plant-based food system has never been so urgent, and universities, as social, cultural, and political leaders, need to step up and show the way. We’ve spent weeks collaborating with other societies across the university, dropped a huge banner on the library bridge, and also helped to fundraise for Leamington Spa’s LWS Night Shelter. We want this change to benefit everyone. Our campaign has received support from hundreds of students and staff members alike, and we are incredibly excited to work with our catering teams to create affordable, nutritious, and delicious menus for students; we are making the most sustainable choice, the most convenient one.”
On the day of the victory, Plant-Based Universities Warwick posted on Instagram the following: “Earlier today, students at the University of Warwick voted for a transition to plant-based catering at their student union. At this term’s ‘All Student Votes’, the plant-based campaign received immense positive support. This is the 8th SU to start a plant-based transition, with Warwick committing to 50% plant-based by the 2024/25 academic year and 100% by the 2027 academic year. Transitioning to a plant-based food system is vital in order to tackle the climate and nature emergencies. It’s great to see students taking action and voting for their universities to start this change!”