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Free-from and freedom

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CEO Jasmijn explores the links between "Free From" and Freedom.

Sarah and visitor at vegan fair

The “Free From” market—and in particular the dairy-free section—in the UK is set to grow from £303 to £519 million by 2016, we hear from the makers of one of our Vegan Trademark products. Dairy-free spreads are rising in popularity. Vegan alternatives to animal-based products are increasingly available in supermarkets. Plant-based ‘milks’—including soya, oat, almond, rice and coconut drinks—are particularly popular. These products are more ethically sound, reduce demand for animal-based products and are better for the environment. They also taste really good, so we are delighted that they are increasingly easy to buy.

On Tue 17th April, another Vegan Trademark registered product, Vegusto 'Mild Aromatic Dairy-free' cheese, won the FAIR Trophy for the best FreeFrom Food 2012 presented by TV Chef Antony Worrall Thompson. After they had tasted the cheese, one of the five dairy-free judges exclaimed: ‘Ohmigod! This is the best thing I have tasted in years!!!'. The others agreed.
In addition to offering a large selection of “Free From” products online, Tesco recently launched its chilled “Free From” dairy alternatives range, available in selected stores across the UK. Other supermarkets are expanding their vegan options.

The Vegan Society organised the first ‘Vegan Pavilion’ at the Natural and Organic Product Show on Sun 1 and Mon 2 April in London. We took centre stage attention and our Sunflower yellow bag was one of the most desired items of the show. It was filled with donated Vegan Trademark registered products. We also shared information about the Vegan Trademark, which is the symbol of our vegan animal-free standards. The scheme is growing as more and more manufacturers understand that “Free From” means ‘freedom’, and see vegan products as opportunities to expand their businesses
From July, The Vegan Society will renew our focus on labelling. We want clearly, accurately labelled vegan products available to everyone. As demand increases, the products will become more affordable. The true price of products derived from animals is often a lot higher than retail prices. This is due to hidden costs, subsidies, environmental impact and other negative consequences of animal use, which are often not reflected by prices.

We demand justice for other animals, and acknowledge their right to life and freedom. We also demand that food production and consumption is fair and sustainable worldwide. “Free From” products-without ‘dairy’, eggs and other animal-derived aspects-are a great development in achieving this vision.

Jasmijn de Boo - CEO, The Vegan Society

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