Plamil Foods UK puts the quality and purity of ingredients at the heart of its business. It is known for its dairy free, vegan and sugar free chocolate products which it manufactures on site and sells to consumers and wholesale customers. Its factory is powered by 100% renewable energy and it has been offering customers organic and fair trade chocolate products for many years. Now it is working with UTZ to extend its sustainable cocoa sourcing. We caught up with Julian Lucas, Sales & Marketing Manager at Plamil to find out more about their plans.
Why is sustainable sourcing important to Plamil?
“At Plamil we are committed to developing good and long-term working relationships with our suppliers and the ethos that we will treat suppliers as we would wish to be treated ourselves. We operate purchasing controls and audit our suppliers. Such information is a key element in assessing the claims that we can make regarding our ingredients and products. Major ingredients such as cocoa are carefully chosen for high production standards. It is for this reason we purchase UTZ certified cocoa.”
What is Plamil doing about climate change?
“We are mindful of our obligations to the environment and to the impact that our business may have upon it. We act to monitor, manage and continually improve our environmental performance as well as maintaining a commitment to produce only Vegan products; such products have a low environmental impact. They observe all relevant rules, regulations and other environmental requirements to which our operations are liable.”
Have you seen a change in customer expectations in relation to sustainability since your business began?
“In the early days of Plamil, more than half a century ago, the customers were almost all vegan with great expectations that the products were made to the highest standards. And later as all Plamil chocolate is not only dairy free but also gluten and nut free, there are many customers looking for ethically produced Free From products so that they can enjoy chocolate in spite of their allergies. The products are now becoming mainstream with everyone realising the great taste of the chocolate.”
Are there any product launches you’d like to tell us about?
“Plamil have recently launched an innovative Free From chocolate bar. Lots of This None of That is a scrumptious dairy free rice milk chocolate bar that amazingly has reduced sugar and is gluten and nut free. This revolutionary new bar is the future for dairy free chocolate. By buying these bars, our customers can both enjoy a tasty product and feel happy that they are contributing to a better life for cocoa farmers and their families.”
Plamil is just one example of a company that takes its environmental responsibility seriously, both in terms of minimising impact on the environment and sustainable sourcing. With a growing focus on climate change in the media ahead of the COP21 this December, the UK’s Carbon Trust recently published a report showing that four out of five companies now believe that a changing climate and resource scarcity are likely to impact their bottom line. Read more from the report here.
By joining UTZ, farmers receive the support and knowledge they need to improve their agricultural practices and increase productivity. And that means better yields of higher quality crops – great for farmers, buyers and consumers. But environmental factors can have a big impact on productivity too – and that’s why protecting nature and a better environment are key parts of the UTZ program.
“Before UTZ certification, farmers used to apply pesticides widely and uncontrolled agrochemicals. As a result, important insects such as ants disappeared; the environment was polluted causing bad effects for the people and the community” Coffee farmer – Dakman Vietnam Ltd
Environmental factors such as pollution from pesticides and other chemicals can have a big impact on agricultural productivity, while climate change brings increased temperatures, and more droughts and storms that can affect water supplies, increase pests and diseases, damage plants and cause soil erosion – all bad news for farmers.
So that’s why, when a farmer joins UTZ he or she learns how to protect the environment around the farm and also how to adapt the farm and agricultural practices to a changing climate.
The results can be significant, as a recent study among coffee farmers in Colombia showed – UTZ farmers were found to be more resilient to the effects of climate change and other environmental factors, with non-UTZ farmers experiencing more negative impacts.
Don’t forget we have plenty of stories and quotes from UTZ coffee, cocoa and tea farmers, which provide great input for your communication.
Watch out for these great products new in store this month – all sustainably sourced. Have you got a product launch coming up? We’d love to feature it, so let us know at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Biedronka’s Kruszynki – Poland
Biedronka supermarkets, part of the Jeronimo Martins group, are now sourcing UTZ cocoa for their tasty chocolate chip cookies.
Cuor di Mousse – Italy
Witor’s, the Italian chocolate company, is now buying UTZ cocoa for its range of Cuor di Mousse pralines. The chocolates with their soft centers and crunchy chocolate shells come in a range of flavors including dark and milk chocolate, orange and yoghurt. The products will be on sale from October in the main Italian supermarkets.
Mini Kanjers– Netherlands
Mini Kanjers, a range of cookies with chocolate and caramel fillings covered in milk, dark or white Belgian chocolate are perfect to serve with coffee and share with friends. Now the products all carry the UTZ label, thanks to Kanjers’ sustainable sourcing.
Nesquik (Nestlé) – Germany
Fans of Nesquick will be pleased to know that Nestlé Germany is now sourcing UTZ cocoa for its well-known instant chocolate milk drink. Four varieties in Germany now carry the UTZ label – the 250g box, 500g bag, 900g box and the 500g low sugar variety.
Martello (Superespresso) – Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Slovenia
Martello has switched two of its high quality pure origin coffee products to UTZ. Its Brazilian variety uses 100% Arabica, grown in the hills between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to make a full bodied espresso, while its Indonesian variety uses 100% Robusta beans providing a pleasant herbal taste with low acidity.
Two weeks ago, we hosted our marketing webinar “Mass balance: dispelling the myth”, explaining how mass balance is a credible and viable way to source sustainable cocoa. Furthermore, we shared some communication tips and examples.
Did you miss it or might it be interesting for your colleagues? You can download the recording here, or view the slides and accompanying text here.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!
World Chocolate Forum: 1 October
This international chocolate conference in London is a chance to meet and exchange ideas with others in the industry. Britta Wyss Bisang, UTZ Certified’s Standards Director will be presenting at 11 am on the challenge of child labor in the cocoa supply chain.
Sustainable Brands, new metrics: 6 – 8 October
This event by Sustainable Brands is exploring how to create and value positive environmental and social impact as well as quantifying sustainability-related costs and risks. We’ll be attending and would love to meet up. Let us know if you’re coming.
You can read more about the event here.
ANUGA fair: 10 – 14 October
We’ll be attending this trade fair for the food industry where a number of UTZ partners will be speakers and panelists exploring issues around consumers and product sustainability. Want to meet up during the fair? Let us know.
Salon du Chocolat: 28 October – 1 November
We hope to see you at this year’s Salon du Chocolat trade event. Sikiri Diakité, UTZ’s representative from Côte d’Ivoire, will present: “Too hot for chocolate? Climate change and cocoa production” on Thursday 29 Octobre at 11am.