The former well being secretary Steve Barclay blocked strategies to make it possible for colleges to impose vegetarian diets on pupils, he has uncovered.

On Thursday, Mr Barclay, who now serves as the Ecosystem Secretary, explained to farmers that in the course of his time in the Department of Health he thwarted proposals to allow schools to halt serving meat products in faculty canteens.

In his to start with speech considering the fact that using up the part at the Office for Natural environment, Meals & Rural Affairs, Mr Barclay sought to assure the agricultural sector that he was on the aspect of farmers.

Speaking at the Nation Land and Organization Affiliation convention in London, Mr Barclay cited his monitor document in governing administration and told attendees: “I have always been clear that we want to safeguard our farmers.

“Indeed, as health and fitness secretary, I blocked a proposal which was to make it possible for schools to impose a vegetarian diet, because to me food is a critical section and a worthwhile sector within just the economy, but it is also an essential aspect of our diet plan much too.

“So as wellbeing secretary, I blocked the proposals which would have authorized the imposition of that in selected schools.”

The Telegraph understands that his comments relevant to designs from the Place of work for Overall health Advancement and Disparities to update its steering for standards of college foods before this 12 months.

A person of the suggested proposals, comprehended to have arrive from the Office for Instruction, was to permit educational institutions to go absolutely vegetarian should they have wished.

The options, which would have affected main and secondary universities across the region, bundled recommendations that mother and father should be consulted ahead of generating these a transfer.

Having said that, it is understood that Mr Barclay, whilst he was wellbeing secretary, expressed worry about the wellbeing influence on pupils and the outcomes for farmers, and therefore blocked the proposals.

The present-day necessary school food stuff criteria point out that a part of meat or poultry on three or a lot more days each and every week really should be provided in canteens.

Pupil unions and city halls going vegan

A range of universities’ scholar unions in current months have designed the shift to go vegan, in a bid to develop into extra sustainable, like most not too long ago Warwick College.

Cambridge University’s student union in February voted to keep talks about removing all animal goods from its menus, pursuing lobbying from Cambridge’s Plant Based Universities campaign.

An raising amount of councils in rural spots have not long ago elected to keep meat and dairy on their menus amid a growing craze amid city halls for likely vegan.

The MP for North East Cambridgeshire told farmers: “As a rural MP, as somebody who life with his loved ones in the countryside, I know and take pleasure in very first-hand how important our countryside is and I’m delighted to winner the countryside and what it contributes to our nation and our way of lifestyle.”

A Government spokesman stated: “It has been the legislation given that 2014 that schools will need to serve meat at the very least three periods a 7 days and we have no plans to change this.

“The faculty foods requirements have been developed to present colleges adaptability in what they offer, and we count on universities to deliver alternatives that acquire account of all particular dietary needs.”