A four-year plan by the UK alternative meat producer seeks to raise awareness of reduced meat intake, inspiring health and wellbeing and helping the environment
Former Real Madrid star Roberto Carlos

Plant-based food company Meatless Farm has teamed up Real Madrid, European football’s most successful club in history, on a joint mission to promote sustainable eating around the world.

The club and company are setting out a joint pledge and four-year plan to work together on raising awareness of the importance of reducing meat consumption to reduce its environmental impact, as well as inspiring health and wellbeing.

Real Madrid’s nutritionists will work with Meatless Farm to show how plant-based food can work within a performance-based diet with the club’s players sharing their experience of reducing meat and increasing plant-based foods for environmental and personal performance gains.

Real Madrid became the first football club to sign up to the UN Global Compact – the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world – as it undertakes a four-year refurbishment of its iconic Bernabéu stadium which will help to make the ground more efficient and sustainable.

Meatless Farm’s founder Morten Toft Bech said: “The plant-based sector has grown massively in the last couple of years but we need to move faster if we are to address the urgency of the climate crisis and the role food plays in that.

“We know there is still a huge gap in consumer understanding of the positive impact reducing meat consumption can have on the environment so we have to reach far beyond vegetarians and vegans and significantly increase the ‘meat-lessers’ – encouraging everyone to reduce their meat consumption and increase their plant-based eating. For example, in a country like the UK we could reduce around 8% of the UK’s total emissions if we all had just one less meat meal per week.

“Real Madrid is the perfect partner for us in this mission – football is the biggest sport in the world and they are one of the biggest clubs. The relationship between a football club and its fans is unlike any other – it’s a close and lifelong commitment and Real fans around the globe are amongst the most dedicated, so the influence and reach that the club has is unparalleled.

Meatless Farm at Real Madrid

“We are all familiar with Real Madrid’s success on the pitch and that comes from dedication and excellence behind the scenes – they excel in nutrition expertise and performance analysis. On top of that, they are one of the leading clubs for their sustainability commitments and research shows that their fans have a keen interest in health and environmental concerns, so the club shares our values, but importantly so do their fans.

“Real Madrid has got the right values, ambition, expertise, reach and influence to help create a global movement for change so we can’t wait to work together on achieving these goals.”

Emilio Butragueño, institutional relations director at Real Madrid added: “Meatless Farm brings together both sustainability and nutrition, two elements that are central to Real Madrid’s club and business strategy. As a global brand we have an important role to play in engaging communities to make real changes that help create a more sustainable world and improve personal health and performance.”

Meatless Farm was founded in 2016 and its products include fresh plant-based mince, sausages and burger patties which on average use 90% less land and 70-80% less water to produce compared to their meat counterparts.

The company operates in 24 countries including Germany, Spain and Portugal and kicked off 2021 with partnerships with foodservice brands Pret, Leon and itsu in January and has reported a 78% increase in sales year-on-year.

Lat September Meatless Farms raised $31 million to support its international growth.

Date published: 12 March 2021

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