Forest Green Rovers (FGR) has officially become the world’s first vegan football club after its plant-based menu was registered with the Vegan Trademark.
The Gloucestershire club received our Trademark just days after winning promotion to the Football League for the first time in its 128 year history with a 3-1 win over Tranmere Rovers at Wembley last Sunday (May 14).
The Vegan Trademark is an internationally recognised mark that demonstrates products and dishes have met the standards to be suitable for vegans.
FGR removed all meat and dairy products from its matchday menu back in 2015, so rather than the traditional football food of meat pies and chips, the menu features veggie burgers, fajitas, and the Q-Pie, a vegan pie created with Quorn ingredients; even the beer and cider on sale at FGR is vegan.
Dale Vince, Forest Green Rovers chairman, said: “We removed meat from the club menu about five years ago, and introduced high quality plant-based food – primarily to improve nutrition and the performance of the players.
“Since then, it’s been about opening a new world of food to our fans and to fans from across the country – and it’s fantastic to get the official seal of approval from The Vegan Society.
“Promotion to League Two means we can get our message out to even more people – to show them what vegan food is all about, and let them know that we can make a huge difference to our health and to our environment just by what we choose to eat.”
Mr Vince said in an interview he hopes FGR can add to the popularity of veganism and that the club receives a lot of praise from fans for providing delicious options.
According to the research we comissioned least year, there are now well over 500,000 vegans in Britain – a 360% increase in the last decade.
Vegan food has subsequently seen a sharp rise, with a 1,500% increase in sales in just one year – and earlier this year, Asda became the first supermarket to carry the Vegan Trademark on its products.
George Gill, chief executive at The Vegan Society, said: “We are very pleased to register Forest Green Rovers’ fantastic vegan dishes with our Vegan Trademark, which will show many football fans how delicious plant-based food is.
“The team are a prime example of how ethics and concern for the environment can go along with looking after your health and playing sports.
“More and more sportspeople are eating a vegan diet because of its health benefits and finding that it improves their athletic performance.”
Launched in 1990, the internationally recognised Vegan Trademark is the world’s oldest vegan label – it enjoys a year-on-year increase in the number of applications, with currently 24,000 vegan products registered across the world.
Over 800 companies have registered their products with The Vegan Society – which created the word vegan back in 1944.
The vegan menu at FGR is the latest in a long line of sustainability measures at the club, which include the installation of solar panels, an organic pitch, and a solar powered robot lawnmower.
The Vegan Society would like to congratulate FGR for winning promotion to the Football League - and most importantly, for its amazing efforts to show everyone how easily accessible and incredible the vegan lifestyle is.