Meet Forest Green Rovers, the first-ever vegan football club! And you thought football was just excessive testosterone, decadence and frail masculinity.
What makes Forest Green Rovers (FGR) a 100% Vegan Football Club
Forest Green Rovers are the first and only 100% vegan, sustainable and carbon-neutral football (soccer) club in the world! This very unique and remarkable little club; situated within the gorgeous foothills of the Gloucestershire countryside, in the small village of Nailsworth, is making huge gains, on and off the pitch, through their unadulterated ethos of veganism and sustainability.
The U.N has awarded FGR as the first-ever carbon-neutral sports club in the world. FGR power their stadium, ‘New Lawn’, on green energy, such as solar panels attached to the roof and biofuel collected from kitchen waste. The team enjoys a vegan diet and plays on the first-ever organic pitch. The grass is cut by a solar-powered robot mower, ‘Mowbot’, and kept lush through non-chemical fertilizer. Forest Green Rovers also collects rainwater and has installed electric car charging ports to encourage fans to travel to games sustainably.
The latest addition to their climate-friendly agenda will be launching a new kit made entirely from recycled plastic and coffee ground waste. Moving away from their former bamboo kit, Club Chairman, Dale Vince said,
“It’s time the world of football wakes up and smells the coffee about the future of the planet. If nothing else, this prototype kit will bring new flavour to that old cliche of grinding out a result.”Cotswold Journal
All humour aside, the long list of sustainable incentives goes on, so when it comes to maximising sustainability and veganism, Forest Green Rovers simply leave no stone unturned.
Who is the Owner of Forest Green Rovers?
This was the mission of OBE, “Green Energy Industrialist”, Ecotricity owner and Club Chairman, Dale Vince. After joining FGR as a major shareholder in 2010, Vince swiftly became the Club Chairman. His intention to turn Forest Green Rovers into a completely vegan outfit was officially recognised in 2017 by receiving a vegan trademark by the vegan society. The same year Forest Green Rovers were promoted to the Football League for the first time in their 129 year history.
The Devil’s Kitchen Project
Forest Green Rovers’ vegan vision has provided the club with success on the pitch with improved performances and health for all the players. Branching off the football, ‘The Devil’s Kitchen’ project has also gone from strength to strength since its vegan unveiling in 2015.
What began as matchday food to serve players, fans and spectators in the stands, has skyrocketed into an international brand now seen in school dining halls and on the shelves of supermarkets across the country. Being a part of the Green Britain Group, The Devil’s Kitchen aims to turn sustainable living and ethical business into a normality.
Set up in 2018, Vince’s main objective was to tackle the children’s food market and provide primary school children with better nutritional standards, labelling the food ‘The Little Green Devils.’ The support and popularity for the food accelerated rapidly and has so extended itself to secondary schools, colleges and universities. The Devil’s Kitchen is now represented in at least 10% of schools and has served over 200,000 school diners across the nation.
The success of The Devil’s Kitchen project does not stop there. After striking a deal with major retailer Ocado for a veganuary incentive, The Devil’s Kitchen delicious vegan food is now being delivered to our homes. Available dinners to order from Ocado include a Shiitake Mushroom Burger, Thai Green Curry Style Burger, and Spicy Vegan Balls.
So, “Hats off!” to Vince! The Devil’s Kitchen Project and Forest Green Rovers are leading the way in their respected fields as being sustainable, environmentally friendly and completely vegan establishments. Bravo Dale!
FGR continue to succeed thanks to Veganism
Furthermore, where many football clubs have struggled during the coronavirus pandemic due to receiving no income revenue from match day ticket sales, Forest Green Rovers have continued to thrive.
This is quite simply a result of being a 100% vegan football team. FGR has transcended from being a very small, localised and relatively unheard of football side, to being a global vegan icon. FIFA has described Forest Green Rovers as “The world’s greenest football club” for their pioneering work for sustainability within football.
Reaching an audience of over 2 billion people worldwide since becoming a vegan club, this small club in Nailsworth has grown exponentially through its vegan ethos.
Another sign that FGR are looking extremely healthy during these very challenging times is how they still attract investors and business partners to the club. The latest being south west based company First Digital which became the club’s official technology partner.
Looking around the world of football at the moment, there are very few, if any clubs striking such deals due to the impact the pandemic has had on the game. This is no doubt a result of Forest Green Rovers being far more than a local League 2 outfit, rather a global vegan football powerhouse!
Sitting currently 2nd in League 2, with results and performances continuing to exceed expectations on and off the pitch, the sky is surely the limit for this incredible club. A remarkable story that continues to delight in the light of veganism and sustainability. This is just a phenomenal example of what veganism can produce under the inspirational leadership of a devoted, motivated, and innovative vegan with a dream for a better, fairer and sustainable world.