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The dairy industry

by | May 4, 2023 | Food Facts

Stir It Up Favicon

I mentioned the dairy industry last week and the fact that it is fairly horrifying, so, having paid over the odds for Yeo Valley organic milk for YEARS, (and laboriously input every single blasted yeoken code to win a free raspberry yoghurt), I’ve only this week discovered that Yeo Valley sold Yeo Dairy (the bit that sells milk and butter) to Arla, Europe’s largest dairy processor back in 2018. Whilst Arla do have an organic product range, much of it is not.

And that’s a problem.

When I buy organic, I’m buying into the ethos of the company, I’m buying into a company that puts animal welfare, ethical practices and sustainability at the core of what it does.

I don’t want half of your herd to enjoy 120 days of outdoor grazing a year while the other half remain without access to pasture for their short, exhausting lives (5 years. An organically raised cow can live and produce happily for 30) and fed exclusively on grain responsible for deforestation.

(happiest cows: Calon Wen, Riverford, Acorn Dairy, Daylesford)

And therein lies the question- is it enough to buy an ethical product when the company itself has far more questionable ethics?

I thought you might think like this too- so here’s a cheeky rundown of a few brands we perceive to be a healthier or a more ethical alternative, but that are owned by vast conglomerates with less-than-ethical business practices:

  1. Oatlybig fuss about this in 2020– 10% owned by Blackrock, Trump campaign donors with fingers deep in pro-deforestation pies

  1. Mindful Chef– the nice, healthy, veg-packed meal kit company. Nestlé acquired a majority stake in 2020.

  1. Green & Blacks- owned by Mondelez (HUGE US outfit who own Cadbury and pulled out of Fairtrade, developing instead, its own standards body Cocoa Life.) Has also reneged on the pledge to keep Green and Black an organic chocolate. This one hurts. I find it hard to live without the occasional Twirl.

  1. Dorset Cerealslaunched with an ethical ethos in 1989, sold to Associated British Foods in 2014. ABF, who also own Jordan’s, Ryvita, Primark, Twinings and Kingsmill, score very badly on palm oil sourcing and environmental/carbon reporting.

  1. Innocent Smoothies– 90% Coca-Cola, man.

  1. Linda McCartney food brand- owned by a large meat processor. What would she think?

  1. Pukka Tea– Unilever owned since 2017, the Dutch multinational has been accused of human rights violations by workers in Kenya (the plantation employs 10% of Unilever’s total workforce) for non-payment of wages and employing private security guards to attack peaceful picket lines.

And so concludes this week’s round-up of food brands with dubious parents.

Knowledge is power, right?

Jacquie x

last week and the fact that it is fairly horrifying, so, having paid over the odds for Yeo Valley organic milk for YEARS, (and laboriously input every single blasted yeoken code to win a free raspberry yoghurt), I’ve only this week discovered that Yeo Valley sold Yeo Dairy (the bit that sells milk and butter) to Arla, Europe’s largest dairy processor back in 2018. Whilst Arla do have an organic product range, much of it is not.

And that’s a problem.

When I buy organic, I’m buying into the ethos of the company, I’m buying into a company that puts animal welfare, ethical practices and sustainability at the core of what it does.

I don’t want half of your herd to enjoy 120 days of outdoor grazing a year while the other half remain without access to pasture for their short, exhausting lives (5 years. An organically raised cow can live and produce happily for 30) and fed exclusively on grain responsible for deforestation.
(happiest cows: Calon Wen, Riverford, Acorn Dairy, Daylesford)

And therein lies the question- is it enough to buy an ethical product when the company itself has far more questionable ethics?

I thought you might think like this too- so here’s a cheeky rundown of a few brands we perceive to be a healthier or a more ethical alternative, but that are owned by vast conglomerates with less-than-ethical business practices:

1. Oatly- big fuss about this in 2020- 10% owned by Blackrock, Trump campaign donors with fingers deep in pro-deforestation pies

2. Mindful Chef- the nice, healthy, veg-packed meal kit company. Nestlé acquired a majority stake in 2020.

3. Green & Blacks- owned by Mondelez (HUGE US outfit who own Cadbury and pulled out of Fairtrade, developing instead, its own standards body Cocoa Life.) Has also reneged on the pledge to keep Green and Black an organic chocolate. This one hurts. I find it hard to live without the occasional Twirl.

4. Dorset Cereals- launched with an ethical ethos in 1989, sold to Associated British Foods in 2014. ABF, who also own Jordan’s, Ryvita, Primark, Twinings and Kingsmill, score very badly on palm oil sourcing and environmental/carbon reporting.

5. Innocent Smoothies- 90% Coca-Cola, man.

6. Linda McCartney food brand- owned by a large meat processor. What would she think?

7. Pukka Tea- Unilever owned since 2017, the Dutch multinational has been accused of human rights violations by workers in Kenya (the plantation employs 10% of Unilever’s total workforce) for non-payment of wages and employing private security guards to attack peaceful picket lines.

And so concludes this week’s round-up of food brands with dubious parents.

Knowledge is power, right?

Jacquie x