Plant-based milk alternatives in schools? Yes, please!

Plant-based milk alternatives in schools? Yes, please!
Credit: Mehrshad Rajabi / Unsplash
7. July 2022

Did you know that the EU School Scheme subsidizes fruit, vegetables and milk in schools and kindergartens? The aim is to promote a healthy diet among children at a young age through education and appropriate offers.

But what actually is a “healthy diet”? That’s quite a complex question that can’t be answered in such a sweeping way but depends on the individual needs of children and adults.  The EU has now initiated a review of this school scheme by means of a public consultation. One of the reasons for this is the consideration of including plant-based drinks in the scheme. This is because, until now, only cow’s milk has been subsidized. The EU has already budgeted 95 million euros for this in 2022/2023, about 9.4 million euros of which will go to children in Germany.

Oatly wants to change this and calls for the additional consideration of plant-based milk alternatives in the EU school scheme.  That’s why Oatly supports a petition started by ProVeg International, which you can sign NOW.

Why? Because you are doing something for the future of our children and at the same time for the environment. Because it is a fact that plant-based milk alternatives consume significantly less CO2. The inclusion in the EU school scheme would mean an important step towards a sustainable future and help to fight the climate crisis. Oatly is receiving support from nutrition expert Niko Rittenau, among others. He emphasizes above all the educational work through which children learn while they are still at school about the impact their diet and food choices have on the environment. After all, in order to drive change, it is crucial to teach children sustainable eating habits that will shape their entire future eating behavior.

Sounds logical! And it’s not just us who think so. A representative Statista survey commissioned by Oatly shows that 80% of respondents consider it important or very important that their children are taught about sustainable diets in schools and daycare centers. A large proportion (59%) also believe that introducing them to a plant-based diet lays the foundation for a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that this petition will also be a success and are optimistic that in the future, your kids and ours will be offered milk alternatives in addition to cow’s milk at their school or kindergarten. After all, together with Oatly, we have already been able to collect several tens of thousands of signatures in the past and bring the discussion about CO2e labeling on food to the Bundestag. At the EU level, a past petition by Oatly and ProVeg was able to help prevent Amendment 171 aka the “plant-based censorship”. Why should it be different this time? Exactly! So, join us, for the change we need your voices!