Scotland university union to go plant-based by 2025

A university student union has agreed to only serve plant-based foods by 2025.

Students at the University of Stirling voted to go 100 per cent plant-based to address climate and ecological emergencies. The decision is the first of its kind in the UK, following similar commitments by universities in Germany.

Stirling’s students’ union held a general meeting for all members on November 10.

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Several motions were discussed and voted on, including the plant-based commitment.

The Stirling of University boasts a picturesque campus of 360 acres
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A union spokesperson said “The motion calls for a transition towards a plant-based food system within Stirling student union, with the intention of 50 per cent plant-based being achieved by the beginning of the 2023/24 academic year – with 100 per cent to be achieved no later than 2025.

“Following a discussion by members present, the motion was voted on and passed.

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“It was noted at the meeting that as the motion would have a commercial implication for the charity, this would require further scrutiny to establish how the union could move towards supporting the proposal.

“We are confident that given the current policy we will be able to work positively with the motion’s direction as directed by our members.”

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It follows a similar move at Goldsmiths, University of London, which will stop selling products containing beef at campus outlets by 2025 to become carbon neutral.

Stirling University has confirmed the decision will not affect other catering options offered by it. The decision was met with criticism.

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Central Scotland Conservative MSP Stephen Kerr tweeted: “Were students properly consulted before this move was made? I’m guessing not. A worrying indictment of student politics. It’s also very unusual to ban British-raised chicken and beef on environmental grounds, while importing avocado, asparagus.”

Rachael Hamilton, the Scottish Tory rural affairs spokeswoman, tweeted: “Banning meat & amp; dairy is an attack on rural livelihoods.”

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The Countryside Alliance said the union should opt for locally-sourced meat and dairy with low air miles, rather than implement an “illogical”, all-out ban.

A similar proposal to go meat-free was made in 2020 at Edinburgh University, but it was rejected.

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