The Co-operative Group has announced an investment of £1.7mln to cut prices of vegan products to match them to meat-based equivalents.

The 29 items will be permanently discounted from 5 May as the supermarket wants to make ‘flexitarian’ diets more affordable.

The move comes as part of ten-point climate change action plan to achieve net zero for its direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2040.

It will offset the direct greenhouse gas impacts of producing Co-op branded food and drinks and of running its operations, such as stores, buildings and logistics.

It will also invest proceeds from the carry bag levy to support UK natural restoration projects and creating an innovation fund for carbon reduction research and development initiatives.

The chief executive of Co-op Food, Jo Whitfield, said it is “unfair” that plant-based products end up being more expensive than their meat-based counterparts.

According to a study by Insure4Sport, they are on average 14% more pricey, though some cost nearly three times as much.

“It’s Co-op’s ambition to make our plant-based range, GRO, even more accessible to our members and customers, helping them make decisions that collectively will have an impact on the world we all share,” she said.

Her pay is directly linked to achieving the carbon reduction targets.