Dr Bronner’s announces sustainability initiative

A new initiative designed to support advocacy for social justice, animal rights and environmental sustainability in the UK has been announced by Dr Bronner’s.

The natural soap brand has created the pilot programme, called All-One UK Initiative, which is an extension to the existing All-One International that seeks to ensure mission aligned advocacy is supported in the markets that Dr Bronner’s sells its products in. Through the initiative, at a minimum, one per cent of Dr Bronner’s sales to the UK market each year will be donated to local advocacy efforts in support of social justice, animal advocacy, and environmental sustainability.

The launch of the initiative in the UK market, as well as Germany, is a pilot programme for 2019.

Michael Bronner, President of Dr Bronner’s, explained: “In the UK, our distributors are deeply inspired by the extraordinary organisations we are supporting and are happy to help elevate awareness of these causes globally.”

By the end of 2019, Dr Bronner’s All-One UK will have donated to three highly effective organisations and initiatives within the country that are aligned with the company’s core focus areas; Animal Advocacy with Compassion in World Farming, Environmental Sustainability with UK Youth Climate Coalition, and Social Justice with Emmaus.

In addition to financial donations, the company has donated its soaps and other products to festivals, community and educational events, fundraisers, animal sanctuaries, and direct-action campaigns across the UK and around the world throughout the year.




Fair tax certification for Suma

In recognition of its commitment to fair practices, Suma Wholefoods has been certified as a Fair Tax Mark Business.

The Fair Tax Mark certification scheme was launched in February 2014 to allow businesses that are paying tax in a responsible way to demonstrate this commitment to their customers, suppliers, investors and employees. Already, more than 50 businesses have been certified.

Emma Robinson, Compliance Coordinator at Suma, commented: “We are delighted to have received the Fair Tax Mark certification. Equality and sustainability are at the heart of what we do and having a fair and transparent approach to tax is key to being a responsible business. The Fair Tax Mark allows us to demonstrate that we have been independently assessed and found to have an exemplar approach to tax. Too often, tax is presented as a burden for businesses, but we’re proud to pay the tax we owe.”

Paul Monaghan, Chief Executive at Fair Tax Mark, added: “We are pleased to announce the Fair Tax Mark certification for Suma, one of the most well-known and fastest growing co-operatives serving customers across the UK and internationally. As part of the accreditation process, Suma has published a new tax policy that commits them to shun tax avoidance and to avoid the use of artificial tax havens. Suma already publish their full accounts and are committed to enhancing their tax reporting in the future. Their current tax charge is very much in line with the expected rate, averaging at 21 per cent over the last four years.”




Vegetarian food names clear, Minister finds, as proposals to ban meat terms are rejected

A proposal to ban the use of words such as sausage and burger to describe foods that don’t contain meat have been rejected.

Defra Minister of State, Zac Goldsmith MP, has written to the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee about a proposal from the European Parliament to ban the use of words like ‘sausage’ and ‘burger’ to describe foods that don’t contain meat, saying that he agrees that vegetarian food names are already clear. In his letter, he found that the Government should not put unnecessary barriers in the way of new foods being put on the market.

In June and July, the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee investigated a proposal from the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to restrict the use of descriptions like sausage, burger and steak to apply only to products containing meat and not to vegetarian alternatives. The Committee wrote to the Government with concerns that the proposal did not have the evidence to justify it, would be costly for vegetarian businesses, and could put people off reducing their meat intake for health or environmental reasons.

The Minister has now replied to the Committee, acknowledging that: “Vegetarian sausages and burgers have been on the UK and European market for many years now and where they are clearly and honestly labelled, as the large majority are, consumers are not at all misled.”

He also agreed that existing legislation protects consumers from misleading information, and that it is important to avoid creating barriers for new foods.

The Committee has replied to the Minister and has asked for more details on the Government’s position if the proposal is put forward during negotiations on the Common Agricultural Policy reform.