UPDATE (Nov 2014): Alpro has decided to keep its soya products (save for yoghurts, for now) nut free – see Alpro’s well that ends well.
What are the staples of your weekly shop? The basics (fruit, veg, meat, fish) plus those trusted brands that you rely on week in, week out, knowing that their products are produced in a nut free environment? Same here. So, what happens when you suddenly hear that a product, that you’ve placed your confidence in since diagnosis (maybe over years) and relied on to form part of your child’s diet, is no longer nut free?
I understand that:
- Certain Alpro products now carry a “may contain nuts” (or equivalently worded) warning.
- From 2014, ALL Alpro products will carry a “may contain nuts” warning, as Alpro are moving their nut milk production to the same factory as their soya milk.
(Thank you to @parllox and @twobabyfoxes for this information).
Indeed, the FAQs section on the Alpro website used to state:
However, this has been changed to:
Fortunately, my family is okay with dairy, so for me this news is disappointing in that I would like to see the range of nut free products expand, rather than diminish. However, for those dealing with both nut and dairy allergies this is a huge blow.
For anyone looking for a nut free soya milk, one nut mum I know (whose daughter has both nut and dairy allergies) uses Tesco Organic Sweetened Soya Longlife Milk Alternative (obviously do check the label for yourself each time!). However, I understand products such as yoghurts, which are both dairy and nut free, are more of a challenge. If anyone has any recommendations, do post a comment below.
I have emailed Alpro customer services for more details, but have so far only received a holding response. I will update this post if I receive any further information.
If you would like to make your own enquiries, the Alpro Customer Care contact details are:
Update (21 November 2013): Alpro’s reply
I’ve now received the following details from Alpro:
“Thank you for your recent email. We appreciate what a serious issue this is and that parents need to be able to make fully informed decisions, when purchasing Alpro’s plant based products.
Due to growing demand we’re planning to start producing almond and hazelnut products at our sites in Belgium and the UK from the end of 2014. Although this change in production will only be implemented at the end of 2014, we have already started to change our packaging in anticipation of this. This is to make sure that all of our consumers are aware of the change before it happens.
All possible measures will be put in place to avoid any cross-contamination between nut and soya products (this includes maintaining separate flows for handling raw materials and manufacturing, as well as thorough cleaning procedures).
Our Alpro for professional range (produced for caterers/professional food services) will also be produced in the same factory so will carry the same warning.
Once again, we can only reassure you, we are doing everything possible to minimise any potential cross contamination. Please do not hesitate to email or call our customer care team on the number below should you need our assistance in the future.”
Update (23 November 2013): “Alpro: Save Our Soya” campaign
Please support the Alpro: Save our Soya campaign!
Launched yesterday, the Alpro: Save our Soya campaign (#AlproSOS on Twitter) calls for Alpro UK to continue making nut free soya products, either by:
- Maintaining their existing separate factories; or
- By employing strict cross contamination procedures, including independent batch testing (which would then mean that nut warning labels are unnecessary).
It may be that:
- You have a nut and dairy allergic child and are dismayed at the loss of a staple source of calcium in your child’s diet; or
- Like me, you might be exasperated that Alpro have taken the easy route and labelled their products “may contain nuts” even though they’ve stated in the email above that “we are doing everything possible to minimise any potential cross contamination”. Just think: if every food manufacturer adopted this tactic, there would be nothing safe in the shops for those with nut allergies. We’d be faced with a choice of living some kind of “Good Life”-esque existence versus buying “may contains” and risking anaphylaxis.
Either way, please join the Alpro: Save our Soya campaign!
You can support the campaign by:
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tweeting @alpro_uk using the hashtag #AlproSOS.
- “Liking” the Alpro: Save our Soya facebook page and sharing it via Facebook.
- Posting your opposition on Alpro’s own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/
If you are contacting Alpro, there’s also a template letter you might like to copy and adapt.