It has been quite important to me to be conscious of the environment and to not bring a negative impact on the world while producing and selling my vegan product range.
Though it is neigh impossible to be 100% perfect, the below are the details of my impacts and choices made to be responsible.
PackagingMy Product Range
Plastic-free home-compostable packaging used in retail units of cheese. Better than biodegradable. Min 90% degradation in marine life with zero toxins.
Glass jars are used for soft products.
Large wheels/blocks of Young Cheeses are vacuum sealed in plastic.
This area has been one of the most important issues to me, as well as one that has given me the biggest headache.
My vegan cheese is exactly like dairy cheese and requires a specific climate during maturing that also follows through packaging. The best packaging for cheese contains some amounts of plastic. However, plastic is a no go. I have opted for a plastic-free, home-compostable packaging. It is not as good as the plastic based ones however it is far better for the environment.
The packaging is better than biodegradable and better than industrial-only-compostables. It also has a minimum requirement of 90% of degradation in marine life with zero toxins. Carbon footprint is very low however I don't have any references for this.
Glass Jars are used for soft vegan products over industrial compostables. Compostable tubs can't be composted by UK councils and therefore are just as bad as plastics.
Plastic is used on whole cheese wheels and blocks for long-term storage and supplying to delis and cheesemongers. This is because I have yet to find a plastic-free version to allow vacuum sealing.
Plastic is also used in shipping food via carriers. Chilled food requires special packaging and without using wool, a foil lined plastic bag is used. A paper version is available however it nearly doubles the cost of shipping.Purchasing From Suppliers
Going plastic-free is not possible however I buy in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging required.
Cashews and Coconut Oil do travel a fair bit however I buy from ethical suppliers to ensure food is sourced correctly and that where possible, shipped via ship instead of flown in. My ingredients are shipped via boat and therefore have a lower carbon footprint (especially compared to dairy).
My biggest purchase, cashew nuts, are bought from a local wholesaler in Bristol.
It is important for me to also find a replacement to cashew nuts in the future and have a 100% British ingredient vegan cheese. This means that nothing used in the final product was produced from aboard and overall has a lower carbon footprint and supports the local economy. The replacement is still in R&D phase.
My products are not organic due to the costs involved. Being organic in the future is out of the question for the future as it push my already premium products out the market. However, where I can, I will purchase organic.
The coconut oil and starch I use is organic.