This week’s report by Elaine Watson on www.foodmanufacture.co.uk highlights the difficulties within production faced by the majority of chocolate producers who produce dairy chocolate within the same production site as other chocolate.
Plamil, a specialist 'free from' producer has been highlighting the contamination issue for many years, more recently last year with the Vegan Society. Following the Vegan Society's decision to continue to allow chocolate to be labelled 'may contain milk' or similar even with the Vegan Society Trademark logo, Plamil took the decision to remove the Vegan Society's logo from its packs, replacing it with their own more modern Vegan logo http://www.plamilfoods.co.uk/trademark.htm.
Adrian Ling, Plamil’s MD states "customers have increasingly been aware of the difficulties of 'free from', particularly within chocolate manufacturing for some time. Today's report further indicates the Vegan Society's decision, against our advice, was out of step in this matter. Plamil's 'free from' production gives the assurance customers want, including vegans and gives one reason why our sales are booming”
A partnership is currently being discussed between Plamil and Foods for Life Nutritionists about the logistics of allowing Plamil's new Vegan logo to be made generally available for companies who want a purer more reliable definition of vegan products and a modernised logo. "
Tony Bishop-Weston from Foods for Life says “In our preliminary discussions with other companies they are excited by the prospects of a modernised logo that communicates integrity and innovation and is more appealing to a LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability), 21st century, conscious consumer.”
"The Vegan Society's decision to allow "may contain milk" labelling on products has meant that, as far as trading standards are concerned working to a definition advised by the Food Standards Agency, use of the word 'vegan' potentially now carries more legal weight than the Vegan Society registered logo that allows contradictory labelling" says Bishop-Weston.
A new set of vegan DVD’s produced by White Dolphin Films will also carry Plamil’s vegan logo after being informed that The Vegan Society no longer certify and register Books and DVDs as Vegan.
ViVA! (The Vegetarian International Voice for Animals) have also launched a rival logo to the Vegan Society after their members voiced a demand for a logo that went further than just animal products and looked at health benefits too.
However unlike The Vegan Society’s charitable behind the scene’s approach, ViVA!’s infamous hard hitting, no hold’s barred campaigns in defence of animal rights have resulted in reticence amongst some manufacturers to align themselves too publicly with the Bristol based organisation.
Tony Bishop-Weston says “The plan is that the new vegan licensing organisation will focus solely on the benefits of using plant based products and not get embroiled in any of the negative campaigns that other vegan organisations get caught up with. We hope to be more like a more ethical and dynamic version of the Food and Drink Federation, a cross between The Fairtrade Foundation and WHICH? The Consumer Association. Any profits generated will be used to pay for positive campaigns to encourage more people to adopt a healthy, sustainable, plant based lifestyle.
“Our modernised approach will be based on a fundamental respect for the pioneering spirit of the founding fathers of Veganism - more consumer friendly, more commercially minded, but just as ethical, passionate and as dedicated to the solution that veganism offers.” adds Bishop-Weston.
For more information please contact:
Tony Bishop-Weston at http://www.foodsforlife.org.uk T: 08712884642 M: 07944068432
Adrian Ling at http://www.plamilfoods.co.uk T: 01303 850588 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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