Amsterdam leads the way to a plant-based future

21 February 2024

Amsterdam recently became the first city in the European Union to sign the Plant Based Treaty. In this, Amsterdam is following cities such as Edinburgh (the first European capital to sign the treaty), Los Angeles and Norwich. Moreover, Amsterdam is committing itself, on the initiative of the Party for the Animals, to increasing the offering of plant-based food in the city.

The treaty

The Plant Based Treaty was drafted by the Animal Save Movement, an animal rights organisation advocating a plant-based world in addition to meeting the goals under the Paris Climate Agreement, and which upholds three core principles: no longer allocating new land for factory farming, the acceleration of the protein transition by promoting a plant-based diet, and the restoration of key ecosystems. Governments signing the treaty pledge to allocate less funding to the production of animal proteins and more to the production and consumption of plant proteins. Twenty-six cities in all have signed the PBT, along with over 1,200 organisations, 1,600 companies and 139,000 individuals.

According to Lea Goodett of the Plant Based Treaty Netherlands in an interview with Plant Based News, Amsterdam is showing “leadership in climate action” by taking this step. “Every major city has a sustainability department or task force these days. However, the problem is that the majority of their plans are not ambitious enough to solve the climate crisis. The Plant Based Treaty encourages cities to lead the way in inspiring their residents to switch to a healthy and sustainable plant-based diet,” says Goodett.

Lea Goodett speaking about the Plant Based Treaty at the Animal Politics World Conference in The Hague, December 2023.

Amsterdam shows the way at the initiative of the Party for the Animals

A statement by the Municipality of Amsterdam explains: “The way we produce, distribute, process and consume food has a profound impact on human and animal health and contributes to the climate crisis.”

In signing the treaty, Amsterdam has set itself the goal of “increasing the ratio of plant-based protein in the diet of the city’s residents and visitors from 40 to 60 per cent by 2030.”

Apart from signing the Plant Based Treaty, the Amsterdam Municipal Council has also adopted a proposal by the Party for the Animals that aims to turn Amsterdam into the world leader with respect to plant-based options. In practice, this means that a plant-based menu will become the standard at public institutions such as museums, hospitals and educational institutes. The municipality also plans to encourage restaurants, supermarkets and the events industry to offer more plant-based food.

“The prospect of a healthy, fair and sustainably produced food system in Amsterdam, with proper consideration for residents with limited financial means is making the Party for the Animals very happy,” said Party for the Animals council member Judith Krom.

Sign too!

You, as an individual, can also sign the treaty and directly send an email to your municipality’s public representatives asking them to endorse the Plant Based Treaty.