Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond, North Yorkshire, visited Quorn Foods’ headquarters in Stokesley to hear about the company’s efforts to build a more sustainable global food system.
Quorn, the global leader in alternative protein, invited Mr Sunak to visit their site in his constituency, which employs around 350 people locally, to show him how the company was developing products that can help consumers reduce their carbon footprint.
The MP met Marco Bertacca, Quorn Foods’ CEO, along with other members of the Operations team, before taking a tour of the factory.
Ahead of the UN’s upcoming COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this November, Mr Bertacca had written to the MP about the company’s plan to participate at the event. Quorn’s bid includes a live-streamed zero-carbon cook-along to demonstrate how delicious food can be one of the solutions needed to tackle the climate crisis.
As the original pioneer of alternative protein, Quorn has a major role to play in tackling the climate crisis by helping reduce the carbon footprint of our diets. Their new advertising campaign encourages people to “Help the Planet, One Bite at a Time” by making small changes to their diets. The food we eat generates around 25% of global carbon emissions, and growing mycoprotein, the super-protein ingredient in all Quorn products, generates 90% fewer carbon emissions than producing animal protein.
After his tour of the factory, Mr Sunak also tried some of Quorn’s fantastic range of products, cooked by their executive chef Stu Henshall. Dishes included Quorn Makes Amazing Peri-Peri strips on dressed flatbreads, Baja Scampi Tacos with a red cabbage and coriander slaw, made with Quorn Vegan Scampi, and Quorn Crispy Nuggets served with a bang-bang sauce.
Of the visit, Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond, said, “Quorn is a major employer and a national and international brand leader headquartered here in Stokesley. I’ve been very impressed hearing about their plans to develop in a growing sector of the food industry, their commitment to research and development and the important part their products can play in helping to reduce our carbon footprint.”
Marco Bertacca, Quorn Foods CEO, added, “We were delighted to welcome Rishi to our site today, and share with him Quorn’s commitment to providing healthy food for our planet and its people. We’re extremely proud of the innovation that is taking place at our Stokesley headquarters, which is focussed on creating delicious food that empowers consumers to eat a little less meat, as part of our collective fight against the climate crisis.
Successfully tackling that crisis will require collaboration between business, government and consumers, and through our expertise in producing healthy, sustainable protein, we believe North Yorkshire and the UK will play an important part in that global effort.”
To support their 2030 ambition of serving 8 billion portions of Quorn a year – the equivalent of one meal for every person on the planet – and becoming a net positive business, Quorn has committed to investing £150m in its research and development, as well as production capabilities, as it establishes North Yorkshire as a global centre of expertise in alternative proteins.
Quorn has also recently been voted by consumers as one of the UK’s Top 3 brands in a YouGov poll, reflecting the continuing rapid growth of the UK’s meat-free category, which has seen sales value increase by 22% in the last 52 weeks and is now worth £702m (source: Kantar WPO & IRI 52 w/e March 2021).