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Frank L. Hoffman
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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 Regards
 
Michael Bremans
Managing Director
Ecover Group
 
Industrieweg  3
B-2390 Malle
Belgium.
 
Phone :     + 32 3 312 88 51
Fax :         + 32 3 311 63 74
bremans.michael@ecover.com
www.ecover.com
 

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