The University of East Anglia’s students’ union has voted to ban the sale of beef on campus for the environment but farmers feel otherwise.
The UEA students voted to ban beef by a one per cent majority in a bid to tackle the looming climate crisis.
With the ban, beef will not be served in any one of the Students’ Union run outlets, including The Union Shop, bar and The Hive Cafe.
The proposition is yet to be authorized by the union’s trustees.
Other universities that have already slashed beef from campus cafes, bars, shops and restaurants include the University of Cambridge, Goldsmith’s College, Helsinki University and Portugal’s University of Coimbra.
Oliver Rubinstein, the NFU East Anglia advisor was visibly ‘disappointed’ to hear of the ban and told Eastern Daily Press: “The NFU is committed to tackling climate change and we have ambitious plans for the industry to be net zero by 2040.
“But we won’t achieve this by curbing our own production and exporting it abroad to countries that don’t have the same environmental standards or climate ambitions that we have here.”
“The UEA is surrounded by many, high-welfare, sustainable producers of beef and these farmers need its support,” he continued.
“It would be much better for UEA to commit to sourcing locally, instead of penalising farmers who are doing the right thing for the environment and food security.”
Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance representing farmers and rural communities agreed to Rubinstein’s argument. “On the face of it, a ban on beef would not be reflective of the university, but rather a small snapshot of students.
“Nevertheless, banning beef would be illogical and an attack on freedom of choice,” he said.
“It signals a complete disregard for our hardworking British livestock farmers who comply with the highest of environmental standards.
“Our message is clear: source local, grass fed beef and cut carbon emissions that way,” he added.
Elsewhere, Nonprofit Moving Animals joined UK’s #NoBeef campaign in a bid to offer support and guidance to universities transitioning to plant-based menus.
Paul Healey, Moving Animals’ co-founder, said: “Universities continue to have a major role in implementing policies and influencing public thought, as well as providing much of the academic work and research that creates the conversation around the climate catastrophe.
“Higher places of learning also represent a significant number of the UK population, who can—and should—be mobilised to support a wider transition towards a more sustainable plant-based food system.”
What do you think of East Anglia’s decision to ban beef? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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