Co-op GRO The Quarter Pounder

overall rating:

0.5

planets

Lucy Lockyear
7/8/2021
No items found.

The effort to address climate change should be recognised and having an offering of vegan products at an affordable price is definitely a win, however there is a large issue with lack of transparency on the ingredients and the manufacture of these products as well as the packaging contributing to the already large volume of plastic waste we create.

What it's made of:

0.3

Lacks transparency and information but doesn’t use animal products.

The ingredients as listed on the packaging and website:
Rehydrated Soya Protein (42%), Onion (14%), Vegetable Suet (Palm Oil, Rice Flour, Vegetable Oil), Sunflower Oil, Pea Flour, Thickener (Methyl Cellulose), Beetroot (2%), Potato Fibre, Red Pepper (2%), Cornflour, Flavouring, Sea Salt, Rice Flour, Yeast Extract, Flavourings, Salt, Caramelised Sugar Powder, Cracked Black Pepper, Beetroot Powder, Tomato Powder, Mushroom Powder, Black Pepper

Whilst a complete list of ingredients is available, the origin of any of these ingredients is not, leaving it up to the consumer to research for themselves if they want to access information which should really be available already. Also, even if the ingredients are researched, they will have different levels of sustainability depending on exactly where they originated so this remains unknown overall.

As it is a vegan product there are clearly no animal products in the burgers and all ingredients are plant-based although, it is unknown whether the plant products are organic or not and if not, which chemicals are used to grow them. There is very little information available online about the sourcing of the ingredients from country of origin, to farming practices for these products, to carbon footprint with the closest suggestion of the origin of the soya protein being ‘non-EU’.

The packaging is also made from plastic with a film on the top, which seems unnecessary, especially when other products in the range come in cardboard packaging, a widely recycled material. Even if the plastic tray is recycled, the film cover is likely not as most local authorities do not recycle these so they will end up in landfill.

How it's made:

0.1

Again, total lack of information other than the country where they’re produced. 
There is almost no information on the manufacturing or farming processes involved with this product or the production of the packaging, with the only information found being ‘Country of origin - United Kingdom. Made in UK using non-EU soya protein.’
This is worrying as you cannot tell the carbon footprint of the processes or shipping or if workers are being treated equitable therefore suggesting a lack of social and environmental consideration.

Who makes it:

2

Overall making climate contributions :)  but lack specific product information :(  The burgers are made by the Co-op, who have a ’10-point plan to tackle climate change’. It is commendable they have addressed climate change as an issue and claim to be making short-term goals for long-term change, such as their own-brand food and drink becoming carbon neutral by 2025, with net-zero carbon to be reached by 2040. They also produced a report in 2019 on ethical consumerism and in other areas show their work investing in local communities.

There is an extensive report available online on their 10-point plan to tackle climate change and on the whole they have lots of information about the company but there is very little information available on individual products in the GRO line.

GRO products have also been permanently price matched to the closest animal-based alternative to each product making them economically sustainable for consumers as they are just as easy access as any other product.