Product research

We consider ourselves to be an ethical grocery store – which first and foremost guides the other policies which we set out for our business. A big part of this is in-depth research into the brands we stock and the ingredients used; we wish to wholeheartedly provide the best possible goods for our customers!

Sound Bites stocks many products which contain soya. We always ensure that our soya products are GM free. We also try not to sell soya grown on rainforest land that has been cleared for this purpose.

soyabeansTo help us stick to these principles, we were lucky enough to have a research project carried out by Jane Whittaker, who investigated the sources of the soya in all the products stocked by Sound Bites. On the whole Jane’s findings were very positive. We discovered for example that ‘Taifun’, a German company who make tofu and tofu sausages, were not only growing their soya in Europe, but were endeavouring to locate their farms close to their factories in order to reduce food miles.

Jane did find one company, Haldane foods, whose ‘sos mix’ Sound Bites stocked, and whose activities seemed not to be in keeping with our ethical policy. Haldane foods are a subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland, a multinational producer who have been accused by Greenpeace of sourcing soya from Amazon rainforest land. Sound Bites replaced this product with “sosmix” and “burgermix” made by  Veggies Catering Campaign in Nottingham.

A full copy of Jane’s research can be downloaded here.

Jane’s research was done in 2007. In 2009 Alpro/Provamel were bought by an American dairy giant, so we have delisted them and now promote Sojade; a wonderfully ethical french company – not only are their products incredibly tasty but the soya used is locally produced!

We also recognise that the large scale use of palm oil in food and household products has a very negative environmental impact with large areas of tropical forest being cleared for palm fat production. We try hard to ensure that all our products which contain palm oil are certified with the RSPO for sustainablility, and contact all suppliers to get information on their level of involvement. Do get in touch with us if you have any questions of concerns!