The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Letters and Responses
Letter From Michael Bremans, ECover - 29 Jan 2003
To the attention of Mrs. Mary T. Hoffman,Dear Mrs. Hoffman,Incidentally I came across your letter to Mother Jones Magazine of almost a year ago. I do not know whether anybody else from our organisation has responded to you earlier. I respect your view on animal rights and animal products but I would like to give you some more information on the issue you raised about the milk whey.The dishwashing liquid with milk whey is one of the first and most successful products of our range. In the past the protein milk whey, was added for its softness for and compatibility with the skin. Whey is indeed a by-product from the dairy industry and as you rightly indicate a by-product of the cheese production.A large number of our customers are using the product as they find it very gentle to the skin and many customers have reacted to us that it reduced skin irritation they often suffered after using other products. We are ourselves not keen on using animal products and actually this product is the only exception in our entire range of animal free products. A few years ago we have launched an alternative dishwashing liquid in which the whey was replaced by a vegetable protein. In certain cases however, this product did not seem to have the same effect as the original dishwashing liquid. Maybe this was a merely emotional reaction as our laboratory can not scientifically substantiate any difference between the two products on their skin reaction and compatibility.In spite of the fact that we continue to offer the original dishwashing liquid, the important UK Vegan Society has become a strong supporter of our range and welcomed the fact that we offered an animal free alternative dishwashing liquid. We also carry the Vegan logo on all of our UK products (except one of course).But again I respect your choice. Nevertheless I hope you will follow my reasoning that it is not the animal agriculture as such that is the problem but the industrial unsustainable animal agriculture that is causing the problems. If organic farming overall would become more widespread I believe that most of the environmental problems related to agriculture would simply not occur. The same goes for the detergents industry, in which I believe we are quite an exception to the rule.A visit to our website on www.ecover.com could give you a good overview of what efforts we have already made to become a more sustainable company. I do not think any of our competitors can show the same results. Becoming sustainable is however not crossing some kind of a virtual finish line, but it is an ongoing process that requires constant improvement.I do hope that one day we will also become a truly sustainable company to you.With Kind RegardsMichael BremansManaging DirectorEcover GroupIndustrieweg 3B-2390 MalleBelgium.Phone : + 32 3 312 88 51Fax : + 32 3 311 63 74
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