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Veganuary 2021 is already biggest yet – and growing every 3 seconds

06/01/21 – Veganuary / Vagan / January / Nestle / M&S / Quorn

Veganuary 2021 is already biggest yet – and growing every 3 seconds

As Veganuary 2021 gets underway, this year’s cohort is already the biggest since the pledge began in 2014. More than 440,000 people have already signed-up for the 31-day vegan challenge – surpassing 2020’s total of 400,000 – and sign-ups are continuing at a rate of one person every three seconds.

Veganuary is urging everyone to embrace what it says is a “unique opportunity to reshape the future” and to sign up to try vegan this month. 

The organisation’s message is echoed by Jane Goodall, Ricky Gervais, Paul McCartney, John Bishop, Sara Pascoe, Chris Packham, Chrissie Hynde and over 100 additional international superstars, politicians, NGOs and businesses who signed a joint letter published last week calling on everyone to help fight climate chaos and prevent future pandemics by changing their diet. 


“2020 brought much hardship and heartbreak, but it also gave us an opportunity to change and build a better future,” remarked Toni Vernelli, Veganuary’s International Head of Communications. “Veganuary offers people a way to take positive action to protect our health and our planet, as well as help prevent future pandemics. The huge response we’ve had this year shows it’s exactly what many people need right now.”

Enormous collective impact to date

More than one million people have already completed Veganuary’s one-month pledge since it began in 2014, and statistics compiled by Dr Helen Harwatt from Harvard University’s Animal Law and Policy programme show that their collective impact has been huge: 

• 103,840 tonnes of CO2eq saved, equivalent to driving around the world almost 15,000 times.

• 405 tonnes of PO43-eq (eutrophication) saved, the same as 1,645 tonnes of sewage.  

• 6.2 million litres of water saved, the same as flushing the toilet almost half a million times.  

• Additionally, more than 3.4 million animals were saved according to the Vegan Society’s Veganalyser calculations 

400,000 people from 192 countries took part last year, including rock legends Brian May and Meat Loaf. 

This year, the charity expanded its efforts by launching programmes in two new countries, Brazil and Argentina, and its first French language pledge – building on the campaigns already established in the UK, US, Germany and Chile. 

The goal this year is a global total of 500,000 sign-ups through the Veganuary website alone.

Food manufacturers and retailers embrace Veganuary’s Workplace Challenge

Nestle, M&S and Quorn’s senior leadership teams are amongst those taking part in Veganuary’s Workplace Challenge, alongside many other forward-thinking businesses.

“As someone who stepped up to the Veganuary challenge this year, I am happy to be part of this movement as it grows across Europe and beyond. For me, now, behind Veganuary there’s a bigger picture – and one which induces long-term action. It’s about really feeling the need of the consumer,” remarked Marco Settembri, CEO of Nestlé Zone EMENA (Europe, Middle East and North Africa). “That is why, this year I am promoting Veganuary across many of our categories and initiatives. Afterall, a well-planned plant-based diet can meet the nutritional needs during all stages of life. And there are the environmental and health benefits too. This year I am passing the baton and encouraging all employees to participate in Veganuary and sign-up to the challenge. We will inspire them with delicious recipes from our Garden Gourmet colleagues, vegan options in the restaurant, tips from experts, and dietary advice.”

Quorn & Cauldron’s Phil Watson, the firm’s UK & Europe Commercial Director, added:  “I’m taking the Veganuary pledge this year and encouraging those on my team to do the same. We have such a great range of accessible and affordable vegan products to enjoy, so, I’m confident that my January breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be varied, enjoyable and nutritious.

“Our purpose is to provide Healthy Food for People and the Planet and by backing the Veganuary 2021 campaign, to encourage over 400,000 consumers to make the switch to Vegan eating for the month, gets us closer to our 2030 Ambition of 8 billion meat-free servings a year worldwide.”

April Preston, Director of Product Development at Marks & Spencers Food, said that as proud owners of the UK’s No1 vegan own-label, Plant Kitchen, her firm was “super-excited” about Veganuary. “This year we’re sharing the sign-up links with all our colleagues in stores and support centres, encouraging them to give Veganuary a go – we’ve got lots of amazing new products launching in our Plant Kitchen range, so it’s the perfect time to sample them. Our M&S Food leadership team are getting fully involved as well, and will be creating a series of fun, weekly videos that we’re sharing internally of the team sampling different Plant Kitchen products and their meat equivalents and finding out which comes top!”

Latest issue – Vol 1/23
– Health & Nutrition focus
– Gulfood 2023 Special
– Next level legume – The rise of the chickpea
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