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Farmers stage sausage roll protest over vegan menus at Oxford schools


Farmers handed out sausage rolls and bacon outside council offices in protest against a push towards vegan food on school menus.

Demonstrators called on Oxfordshire County Council to support “local food and farming” and ditch proposals for more plant-based meals.

Councillors last year backed a move to stop serving meat and dairy at official events as part of efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

The proposals – set to be rubber-stamped by cabinet members next month – would also ensure school lunches have plant-based menus available at least twice a week.

But the move has sparked anger from local farmers, who took their protest outside Oxfordshire Council Council on Monday.

Oxford farmers handed out local produce at the protest

(BBC South Today)

One demonstrator, John Richardson, is reported as saying by the BBC: “British farmers have produced quality, sustainable food. We’re not here to make a stand against vegetarianism or veganism, just trying to promote the good food we produce.”

Richard Binning, a beef farmer from Steventon, reportedy said: “The message they are sending out is really dangerous – they are suggesting it’s ok to eat avocados from Brazil, instead of our wholesome British beef.”

Last year, an in-depth study found meat and dairy products were reponsible for twice as many emissions as plant-based foods.

Liz Leffman, the leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said the push towards plant-based meals was “about councillors taking a stand to tackle climate change and saying we want to make our planet more sustainable”.

She added: “We want agriculture to be sustainable and we will source produce locally wherever we can.”

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