alpro growing up

Soya is great for infants

Sir, In response to Scott Wotherspoon’s incorrect assertion that plant-based growing up drinks are not nutritionally equivalent to dairy-based offerings (‘Infants need cows milk’, Letters, 7 January, p23), we would like to correct a number of points he raises.

In the UK, soya products have been part of toddler nutrition for almost a century while our new Growing Up Drink, tailored for toddlers aged 1-3+, is nutritionally comparable to dairy full-fat milk on key measures such as energy, protein, calcium and vitamin D, but with the added benefits of six times more vitamin C, just a trace of salt and around half the sugar.

Indeed, for children over one year of age who have no soya allergy, pediatric dietitians recommend that parents can use soya products as a suitable alternative to dairy, irrespective of dietary need. Furthermore, Alpro Soya Growing Up drink has been formulated to include, like dairy, a great number of nutrient needs for children aged one year and above, and our new drink can also be used in cooking and food preparation for children from 6 months of age. As per the government’s latest Eatwell Guide - which encourages the consumption of plant-based proteins, reductions in sat urated fats and lower sugar intakes - following a plant-based diet is ideal for people of all ages, irrespective of whether they are lactose intolerant, have an allergy to cows milk protein or are follow ing a vegan or vegetarian diet. As such, we are delighted to have launched a fantastic new plant-based offering that we know will appeal to many parents throughout the UK.

Vicky Upton, head of marketing, Alpro UK & Ireland

Gluten free = gluten free

Sir, It was good to read about the launch of the Gluten Free Industry Association (‘Gluten-free suppliers plan tougher scrutiny’, 7 January, p6). With the popularity of gluten-free products rising rapidly, it’s even more important to ensure high standards across the industry and inspire consumer confidence. This is something we feel passionately about at Mrs Crimble’s, now part of the Wessanen UK family.

Together with other good gluten-free companies, we formed this association to champion and share best practice across the sector, which should result in fewer product recalls and more transparency and a greater focus on quality. Consumers need to be able to trust the brands they buy. Gluten free, should mean gluten free. Each and every time. And we’re committed to making this happen, without compromising taste and quality.

Gill Green, marketing director, Wessanen UK

Could you sort it, guys?

Sir, At London food rescue organisation City Harvest we’re distributing six tonnes of surplus food a week to more than 100 charities that prepare meals for those in need. One of the things that would be important for readers of The Grocer is to start exploring “best practices” in food donation. There is a tremendous variation in food donation habits of different chains of stores as well as stores within the same chains. City Harvest and our peers could make a much larger impact if supermarket employees were better educated about types of food that are acceptable for donation and how to sort it. At certain stores we have to spend hours sorting random piles of food. We salute all the supermarkets for implementing food donation programmes, and within the random piles of food are excellent food that is ultimately well appreciated by recipient charities. But education and awareness can save us time and resources as we redistribute food. We believe there should be a way to share best practices with organisations around the world and

In December City Harvest London signed an agreement with the Qui Foundation in Italy to share information that will enable each of our organisations to operate more effectively. We hope to get others on board.

Laura Winningham, CEO, City Harvest London