Sustainability and traceability are our watchwords here at Exclusive Scoop HQ as it should be to everyone in this time of global crisis (climate change not Covid one crisis at a time please!).
As such we only ever use sustainable, biodegradable, recyclable or compostable*- cups, tubs, forks, spoons and straws. There is no such thing as 'disposables'.
Exclusive Scoop uses as little plastic as possible, and will never package goods for sale in anything that is not recyclable, biodegradable, compostable or reusable.
Now to the plant based meat substituted of the issue- dairy itself.
Unfortunately dairy is not sustainable 8 billion people can't all eat ice-cream as much as I'd like to feed it to them. As such I provide a wide range of dairy free alternatives. Whilst where possible sourcing all my dairy from free range and local sources.
Replacing dairy in turn opened up more cans of worms than I ever thought possible now it seems most dairy alternatives are riddled with problems themselves.
Almond milk- uses an vast amount of water to grow the almonds as well as being devastating to the bee populations that are used to polinate them (also strictly making almonds non vegan).
Coconut milk- comes half way across the world leading to a larger CO2 footprint than local alternatives.
Soyamilk - soyabean crops need large amounts of acid-neutralising lime, as well as synthetic fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides all of which create quite the environmental hazard. Not to mention the deforestation that takes place to make room for crops.
The more I've researched milk substitutes the more its become apparent that there is no one right answer, if we all start using one alternative then we create to much demand for that resource which almost always leads to issues in its supply.
I have taken the decision to use oat milk for the base to most of my vegan ice creams they are a low impact crop and can be grown in the UK, which not only cuts down the CO2 in the supply chain but ensures that deforestation and slave labour is left out of their production.
Next ingredient next battle (to be won)
Chocolate and cocoa is an industry that has been tarred with a lack of proper tracability. The production of these crops is rife with child and slave labour.
A lack of traceability in the chain of chocolate supply means that the child and slave labour is often used in the harvesting and production of crops. Surprisingly and devastatingly use of labour of this kind is present throughout many name brands. Despite many manufacturers agreeing to end this practice it seems that little progress in procedural changes have been made to actually outlaw this abhorrent practice.
Not ensuring traceability is a way of turning a blind eye to these atrocities. As the use of child/slave labour in this industry is so endemic any product that does not have %100 traceability almost certainly has child labour utilised at some point. For me claiming that they do not know where their raw materials come from is not good enough. It is known that this type of labour is used in the production of chocolate and as such it is known that the likelihood is that they are supporting slavery.
Ignorance is no excuse.
I use only Callebaut Belgian chocolate and cocoa powder as they are not only quality products but have achieved %100 traceability in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana the two largest cocoa producing countries.
In a world with so much corruption we must vote with our wallets. Our consumer choices are important, as governments are slow to legislate against products that utilise slave labour in their production so we the people must make it unviable for companies to be involved in such practices.
The one thing no company can ignore is a drop in profits, it is unfortunate that the commitment to driving down production costs has lead to the situation we find ourselves in, however it is a situation we can overturn and become stronger more moral people for it. However this is the call to arms this is the battlefield where we must look injustice in the eye and say NOT IN MY NAME.
It is a struggle not to name some of the companies I know to be involved in immoral business practices as I am passionate about this subject however I am also particularly passionate about not having legal action taken against me as well. Luckily in this modern world most of this information is freely available I encourage you (if you dare) to check out which brands are currently involved in perpetuating slavery. I urge you to cut these brands out from your shopping, and we will beat them battle by battle product by product we will make slavery to expensive to continue as is simply being morally wrong seems not to be enough.
*I am still navigating the mine field of which green product is best (and assume I always will be as the ranges available change). Is a bioplastic spoon better than a wooden one? On one hand the wood will have been a carbon sink as it was grown but on the other- the more bioplastics we buy the cheaper they become and the more accessible meaning companies currently using oil based plastics will be encouraged to switch as prices become more competitive.
Any advice or information you feel would be valuable will always be greatly appreciated.