Tuesday, 19 August 2014

And thanks to AlproSOS... they all lived happily ever after??

I don't know about you, but I love a story with a happy ending, don't you?

The problem with a story with a happy ending is that unfortunately it has to have a miserable bit, before everything gets resolved! 


This tale all started back in November (for those who don't know), with the announcement that Alpro had decided that in order to expand it's operations, it was going to move factories and this would result in nut milks being manufactured alongside soya milk. BUT, not only would this affect their milk, but other dairy free products such as custard, cream and yoghurt. This dealt a huge blow to families in which a family member was allergic to both dairy and nuts. Especially, when they realised that Alpro produced soya milk for many supermarket 'own' brands as well as for Provamel. 

It was a particular disaster, for families with young ones, who were relying on reliable supplies of the Alpro Plus 1 soya milk which is specially formulated for little ones - there is no other like it on the market. See why here.

Specially formulated for little ones

There was a partial resolution to this, when Alpro decided to secure the safety of this milk, back in March 2014. However, the issue of desserts and yoghurts still remained.

Many schools/nurseries use Alpro Soya products.

I was also concerned about the fall-out for children who were dairy free and who were mixing with nut allergic children in schools/nurseries etc. I was worried in case that meant that they would no longer be allowed to eat Alpro dairy free desserts/yoghurts within those settings and was quite frankly dismayed at how long it apparently took some members of the dairy free online community, some allergy organisations and some health care professionals to jump on board. 

I see it this way - if one part of the allergic community suffers, some kind of discrimination/barrier/injustice then ultimately we all do... at some point. As John Donne wrote in his famous poem:

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;

We all need to work together to create understanding among the many out there, who just don't 'get it' and also to bring about CHANGE!


It just goes to show what will happen if we do all work together, because yesterday, after months of uncertainty and misery for the families that were directly affected, Alpro SOS was finally able to announce that Alpro was going to make the changes for which we'd all been hoping and praying and pushing... well, some of them at least!!

See here:

Dear AlproSOS

As you know, a year ago we decided to label all our plant based products with a 'may contain traces of almonds and hazelnuts' claim. This was to give consumers advance warning of the integration of products containing almonds or hazelnuts into its production facilities.

After thorough investigation and without compromising Alpro's ethical aims of bringing delicious and safe products to the market, we are PLEASED TO CONFIRM THAT WE WILL BE GRADUALLY REMOVING THE 'MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF ALMONDS AND HAZELNUTS' CLAIM FROM OUR SOYA, RICE AND OAT DRINKS AS WELL AS OUR PLANT-BASED ALTERNATIVES TO CREAM AND DESSERTS.

As part of a major investment in our facilities, we will ARRANGE OUR CURRENT PRODUCTION LINES TO BE DEDICATED TO PRODUCING SOYA, RICE AND OAT DRINKS OR ALMOND, HAZELNUT AND COCONUT DRINKS. ANY AVOIDABLE RISK OF CROSS CONTAMINATION IS THUS EXCLUDED, WHICH MEANS THE WARNING CAN BE REMOVED from our soya, rice and oat drink products and our plant-based alternatives to cream and desserts.

We apologise for any confusion relating to the nut claim, but our intention regarding labelling has always to keep consumers fully informed of the changes as early as possible. Now that production plans have changed, the claim is no longer necessary on soya, rice and oat drinks and our plant-based alternatives to cream and desserts.

These recent decisions and measures will allow all consumers to continue to enjoy Alpro soya, rice and oat drinks and our Alpro plant-based alternatives to cream and desserts in the future.

Ann De Jaeger
Vice President, Division General Counsel & Corporate Communications

Well almost!!

However, please note, this does not include yoghurts - as of yet!! Alpro SOS are continuing to push for other information too - check out their Face Book page for more information!

Today, Alpro SOS have also been able to announce that the 'sister company' Provamel will also follow suit, and I wish to congratulate all, working behind the scenes at Alpro SOS and thank them for all their hard work. And I wish to thank Alpro too, for considering the alternatives and coming up with some solutions. I am sure that this has required a lot of logistical nightmares as well the reallocation  of some finances! I do hope that they will work to resolve the anomaly of the yoghurts very soon!

The Sequel

Meanwhile, as an allergic community, there is still plenty of work to do!

Supermarkets are still using unnecessary and useless 'may contain' labelling on their products and people with nut allergies are taking their lives in their hands should they dare to travel by airplane.  We need to continue to apply pressure, to help big companies see sense!

What can you do?

Some thing as simple as highlighting it on Twitter or Face Book, or signing a petition on Change.Org can all help. If you feel you could email/write to a company, even better!

Let's make change happen!

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