Three Brazilian cities have joined forces with an animal charity to serve up 5 million plant-based school lunches to children.
Mercy for Animals [MFA] initiated the Alimentação Consciente Brasil ('Conscious Eating Brasil') food policy program which has been adopted by city officials in Várzea Grande, Cuiabá, and Sao Gonçalo.
According to a MFA source: "This initiative will create 5 million vegan meals a year that would otherwise contain animal products. This breaks down to around 140,000 plant-based meals each week.
"In Varzea Grande and Sao Goncalo, both the second-largest cities in their states, officials committed to serving entirely plant-based foods one day a week in city-run public schools.
"In Cuiaba, the capital and largest city in Mato Grosso, officials committed to serving entirely plant-based foods one day a week in both city-run public schools and city-run social assistance programs."
According to the charity, the initiative will save the lives of 11,000 animals a year.
This scheme taps into a wider growing trend - while Brazil is traditionally considered to be a country with a high meat consumption, veganism is becoming more and more popular.
According to a report by VegNews, plant-based companies in Brazil are increasing at a rate of 40 per cent per year.
Gustavo Guadagnini, the Brazilian director of non-profit organization Good Food Institute, said: "Companies operating in the plant-based market sector are reporting strong positive growth, and the number of retailers interested in selling these products is increasing dramatically.
"From here, it’s just a matter of time before these products are prolific in the whole country."
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