Vegan entrepreneur and VBites owner Heather Mills has officially launched her Plant-Based Valley in the UK, in a bid to tackle climate change and build a 'world center for food future' in the North East.
Heather - who owns three plant-based factories totaling 600,000 sq ft in the Newcastle area - also aims to create hundreds of more jobs in the region.
'Global social responsibility'
"This is not merely a business and investment enterprise, this is an enterprise on which the future of the planet is going to depend," said Heather at the launch of the project today at her VBites factory at Seaton Delavel, near Newcastle.
"I have been warning about this for more than 20 years and it is now an accepted scientific fact... that the cattle culture diet is having a disastrous effect on the climate and it threatens our very existence. Every expert agrees that for the sake of continued life on Earth we all have to make significant changes to our traditionally meat-based diet, each of us now has that global social responsibility...
"I want the North East to be up and running with innovative new ideas and discoveries and ready to deal with the demand for climate-friendly living which without a doubt is going to happen."
Heather also called on the Government to begin investing in the 'plant-based economy' and to not abandon plans for HS2 - which she described as an 'essential artery' for businesses in the North.
"HS2 is not only crucial to bolstering the economy of the North and the North East, it is indispensable to the key role that the area can have in providing a manufacturing innovation which will be a lifeline not only for the UK, but for the planet," said Heather.
"HS2 is not a Crossrail for the North, it is an essential artery for a region which has for centuries been the powerhouse of our world-leading nation. Now, at a time when the planet is facing the gravest threat in its very history, it is going to be very much needed for us to build this new Northern powerhouse which will lead the way again."
Heather also announced the launch of Vmega-3 - a plant-based alternative to Omega-3 supplements.
"Most people think Omega-3 oil comes from fish, but the truth is it comes from the algae that fish eat. People get their Omega-3 by eating the fish, but with Vmega-3 you by-pass the fish and get it straight from the algae," Heather commented.
"Omega-3 oil from fish is no longer sustainable. Overfishing and fish-farming have a seriously detrimental effect on the marine environment, plus there’s the worry from research which has shown that the vast majority of fish caught now contain industrial toxins and pollutants."