I have known about Plamil for a while but I spoke with Julian at VDelicious and was excited about 'how vegan' their products are! They guarantee that their won't be any cross contamination! Isn't that amazing?
Julian is going to tell you all about Plamil now.
What does the Plamil sell?
Plamil only sells vegan products. We have an extensive range starting from chocolates, to egg free mayos to the original product, soya milk.
Where is Plamil based?
Plamil has its own manufacturing base, offices and distribution on the Kent coast in Folkestone.
Do you exclusively serve those who are local to you or can others who are further away access your products too? If so, how?
Plamil products are sold in most parts of the world. They can be found in independent retailers, chain stores or supermarkets. There are also many web based stores around the world selling Plamil products.
What inspired you to create a business that solely focuses on different types of vegan products?
Plamil began as a sub-committee of the Vegan Society; then called the Plant Milk Society. The Plant Milk Society was looking into plant based alternatives to dairy milk. After years of research and a great deal of money spent by these pioneering vegans, a soya milk was developed in the early 1960s.
The Plant Milk Society eventually became Plamil Foods. Plamil branched into chocolate in the 1970s and has proudly been producing dairy free chocolate since 1983. Plamil produced the world’s first dairy free chocolate Easter egg products back in the 1990’s. Although Plamil now manufactures a great deal of chocolate, Plamil soya milk is still available and there is also a very successful range of award winning vegan mayonnaises.
Plamil is passionate about producing food made to the highest standards possible. Unlike most manufacturers, even some vegan manufacturers, all our products are made directly from the ingredients on the label ( for instance Plamil never just re-melts chocolate and claims to be the manufacturer), as we believe that our customers should be able to enjoy food knowing that:-
- every care is taken during production
- the ingredients are pure
- that non-vegan ingredients are not present
Plamil’s ethical aims and objectives are set out in the company’s Articles and Memorandum: “To promote and carry on the business of producing vegan foods.”
In addition to this, the company aims to undertake related activities and services in the following manner:
A) We work to promote the welfare of humans, animals and the environment, striving to ensure a fair society with compassion for living creatures and a reduction of the environmental impact on the planet of our activities
B) We recognise that issues relating to the achievement of our objectives are often complex and thus we work with third party organisations to make these more achievable, whilst we may not agree with every part of these organisations.
Is there any risk of cross contamination in your factory?
One of the reasons that Plamil products are so successful and popular with consumers, is that unlike so many companies, we only produce foods that meet the highest vegan standards possible. In fact the standard is much higher than that which the UK Vegan Society seeks with the use of its logo. This is why Plamil have our own registered vegan trademark which we proudly add to every pack.
Customers are assured by this high standard which we also transfer to declarable non-vegan allergens. Plamil excludes many items which are considered allergenic. Whilst vegans have no issue with nutrients such as wheat/gluten and nuts for example, at Plamil we exclude these in the same way we exclude non-vegan items. Thus we can provide across the board assurance to a wide range of people who are specifically seeking to avoid many items.
Of course we consider what goes into a product to be just as important! It must be vegan and ethical as well. All the cocoa we buy is either fairly traded or UTZ Certified, Organic or a combination of these. All this is backed up with production standards. We are SALSA registered (a food safety standard).
How easy is it for you to source cruelty free ingredients for your products?
Plamil has considerable experience in sourcing vegan ingredients and knows how to avoid many pitfalls that exist. It’s all about experience and asking the right questions and a commitment to develop good and long-term working relationships with its suppliers. We are committed to the ethos that we will treat suppliers as we would wish to be treated ourselves. We operate purchasing controls and audit our suppliers through the appropriate communication and assessment information provided by them. Such information is just one element in assessing the claims that we can make regarding our ingredients and products.
For someone who hasn't tasted your chocolates before, and is indecisive about what to buy; which are the three most popular?
This is a difficult question because we have so many different products that are enjoyed by people with different tastes. Indeed in different countries different products maybe more popular than in other countries. Nowadays both milky and Dark are popular, but additional yummy flavours are a must for some. Some like our cranberry and orange bar, other popular bars are our orange, mint and milky chocolate. Chocolate aficionados might choose the 87% cocoa dark chocolate. Personally my favourite is the cayenne.
Is Plamil owned by, or in partnership with, another company that tests on animals or sell non-vegan products?
Plamil an independent limited company in which all its shareholders are committed to vegan ideals.
What is your vision for the future of Plamil?
When Plamil started; being vegan was seen as a very unusual lifestyle choice. Now it is far more common. We hope that in the future it will become the norm with Plamil playing a small part in this change of attitude.
We think it is wonderful to see so many new vegan products in the marketplace. Many consumers notice or learn that many of these products are made by companies or brands that also produce non-vegan food. With no evidence that purchasing vegan products from a non-vegan company encourages those companies to go more in the vegan direction; we notice that an increasing number of consumers are seeking to purchase from solely vegan companies. It seems that this is the only way the profit they give to these companies on every purchase does not contribute to the very industry they would wish to see reduce.
Plamil will continue to be committed to ethical and vegan production and has many products in the pipeline for the future.
What's new with Plamil in March 2015?
The recording below was taken at VegFest Brighton at the end of March 2015.