Sir; Concerns about higher than sensible levels of benzene in 230 drinks available in the UK comes as no surprise to us.
Drinks that contain ascorbic acid have benzene added to stabilise them. The soft drinks industry agreed a long while ago to self-regulate the use of benzene ‘to an acceptable level’ - whatever that can be for an alleged carcinogenic substance.
Newer entrants to the sector have not been aware of this or have assumed that they can push the limits a bit. We feel that the only real answer to this is to stick to wholly natural drinks with no additives. We use natural vitamin C in Pago fruit juices and there is no added benzene.
As for the ‘fizz going out of the soft drinks industry’ that saw Britvic’s share value topple by £136m in a day, again this is something that has been coming for several years. There’s increasing awareness of the need to feed youngsters healthily, to attack the problems of obesity and tooth decay.
Schools are playing a major part in educating youngsters and their parents that fizzy drinks and those stacked with artificial sweeteners,
Sir; Your article ‘Meeting the ideals of ethical trade’ (The Grocer, Focus on Fair Trade, February 25, p55) seems to imply that Traidcraft was set up as a response to the Fairtrade Foundation and that our ideals and standards are weaker.
In fact, Traidcraft pre-dates the foundation by many years, having been established in 1979, and we were indeed one of the founder members of the foundation. Whenever Fairtrade certification is available we seek to use the mark, often going beyond its requirements, and we fully support the principles and approach that underlie the mark. Where our products do not bear the Fairtrade mark,