Vegan mince pies
Mince pies have gone on a real journey when it comes to animal ingredients. They used to be made with actual meat (hence the name), but most swapped the meat for fruit in the late Victorian era (though they still generally contained suet which can be from animal or plantbased sources).
Not to be left behind the times, many mince pies are now becoming vegan.
None of the brands in this guide are part of fully vegan companies, but the majority appeared to offer a vegan version, with the exception of Booths, Daylesford, Iceland, Mr Kipling, and Roots & Wings.
Greggs was the only company that appeared to only offer vegan mince pies, but it did sell a lot of other meat products.
All the companies in this guide sell a significant amount of animal products, and most of them are supermarkets with huge ranges but without adequate welfare policies.
Riverford, Roots & Wings, and Authentic Bread Company scored 30 for animal issues because all of their animal products were covered by policies which, to some extent, mitigated the suffering of the animals concerned.
For these companies, it was because their entire range was certified organic, which includes standards for animal welfare. With Riverford this is true apart from the sale of some wild fish, which it said was line caught in small boats. Abel & Cole and Daylesford were largely organic but sold farmed salmon so only scored 10.
We also rated companies for agricultural practices.
We looked at what actions companies are taking to reduce, or even reverse, the damage done to biodiversity and ecosystems by agriculture. For supermarkets, this looks at their own-brand policies only.
Despite run-off from farms, particularly non-organic and factory farms, being a major pollution risk for our soils and ever-declining river health, we could not find any clear policies around this issue among any of the non-organic companies.
One UK farm which supplied M&S, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose was fined £35,000 for polluting waterways with slurry.
Riverford and Daylesford scored full marks as they had multiple policies beyond their organic focus. Authentic Bread Company, Roots & Wings, and Abel & Cole also scored well.
The Pesticide Action Network ranked supermarkets on their approach to pesticides – those ranked in the bottom five lost marks in our rating.
These were, from highest to lowest, Tesco, Lidl, Asda, Aldi, and Iceland. Aldi, Booths, Greggs, and Iceland did not appear to have any policies for reducing pesticide use in their supply chain.