2020 Peas Please Progress report
The third Peas Please Progress Report has arrived, showing that UK food businesses have served 162 million additional portions of vegetables over the past three years as part of the Peas Please initiative. With Covid-19 continuing to impact on the UK food system, this report looks at what needs to change to make it easier for everyone to eat more veg.
Our aggregate portion total increase to 162 million portions, with an additional 72.1 million portions of reported by our pledgers.
92 Veg Advocates have been recruited to date and ran 20 workshops citizen exploring the barriers to veg consumption, with another 30 planned.
We received pledges and commitments from 95 businesses, organisations and local authorities.
2020: The year that no one saw coming
Our third Peas Please report shows a steady increase of 72.1 million additional portions of vegetables sold across the UK between July 2019 and June 2020 as a result of the concerted efforts of Peas Please pledgers, taking our cumulative total to 162 million additional portions of veg served or sold over the past three years.
Yet although this is an impressive achievement, the rate at which we are increasing our cumulative portion total has slowed. 2019’s progress report saw our annual portion total increase from 4.8 million in year one of Peas Please to 89.9 million additional portions of veg in year two, an increase of 85.1 million portions of veg. This year we’ve added 72.1 million portions of veg to our cumulative total – a move in the right direction but a smaller increase than the year before.
This is perhaps no surprise given the turmoil COVID-19 has caused this year to society in general and the food sector in particular. The impact of social distancing measures from March 2020 onwards set in motion a chain of events that have seen some organisations benefit, while many others have been stymied by new COVID-19 restrictions. While many retailers have seen a significant uplift in grocery sales, the Out of Home sector has been significantly impacted by restaurant, school and workplace closures, with social distancing measures profoundly affecting many of our pledgers.
The first few years of Peas Please helped to establish proof of concept, showing everyone that it was in fact possible to increase the amount of veg being grown, sold and served. But given that many of our original pledgers joined the initiative in 2017, we are now looking to refresh and revise a large number of Peas Please pledges which were due to be completed by October 2020.