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Ice Cream and Ethics - A chat with Amber from Beau's Gelato

It's fantastic that our creamy cashews make a base for the incredible, plant based Beau´s Gelato bringing much more than delicious ice cream to your doorstep!

Amber, co-founder of Beau´s Gelato

Our (currently) small but perfectly formed list of collaborators includes Beau´s Gelato serving up multi-award winning vegan ice cream that uses our Fairtrade cashews as a velvety base.

Their Pint Club venture is taking the UK by storm (or rain or shine ha,ha) and their ethical ethos extends way beyond our nuts, as the team works hard to develop a fully sustainable business model whilst churning out an incredible range of vegan gelato.

We spoke to co-founder Amber about her principles and Beau´s journey so far...

Hi Amber! How did Beau´s come about?

Beau’s was a long time in the brewing. Joseph originally worked in finance and I was a neonatal nurse. So it was a massive leap into the unknown for both of us. We knew that we had to pay respect to the lineage and the wealth of technical information out there and learn from the masters about the foundational principles of making gelato.

As well as our studies at the Gelato University in Bologna, we attended numerous webinars, conducted extensive research into the science of ice cream making and engaged with a consultant in America who had run a successful vegan ice cream parlour in New York.

We set about trialling Beau’s on a small scale on the Isle of Wight and it went down so well in all the different settings we tried it in, so we knew then we had to take it to the next stage.

Do you source all your ingredients from ethical businesses? 

When we chose cashew as our hero ingredient for our gelatos, we found out about some of the humanitarianly horrific practices that are tragically commonplace within the cashew farming world.

We said to ourselves that there was no possible way we could make ice cream with a clean conscience if by doing so we were causing immense suffering and pain on the very people who harvest it.

As we have grown, so too has our relationship with Liberation and, happily, we can say with great pride that our cashews are Fairtrade certified with close links to the farmers. That is hands down one of our biggest milestones as a company so far.

We take the same approach to all of our ingredients, ensuring they are fairly traded and ethically sourced. There’s no point trying to create a product for good when it is causing harm in the background. Our mission as a company is to call for greater transparency across the food chain so people know exactly what they are buying and where it is coming from. That is what it means to be part of a global community with a sustainable future.

In an ideal world, where would you like to see Beau´s in 5 or 10 years’ time?

Is it corny to say everywhere?

In all seriousness, we have big visions for Beau’s. We don’t see it as just a brand, we see it as a vehicle for change in the industry. The ice cream industry is rife with dirty practices, from the predominance of dairy to the use of unclean, highly processed ingredients. We want to change this by selling tubs and ice cream cones of Beau’s gelato and also private label manufacturing for other brands who want to make a real contribution and use ethical, sustainable production methods.

What is the most challenging part of becoming fully sustainable? 

We’re really excited about our work with Planet Mark. Certification allows us to pin point exactly where we are with our emissions and gives us the tools to actively reduce them year on year until we are carbon negative.

The biggest challenge we face in our sustainability process is, quite frankly, the murkiness of the industry. It’s extremely difficult to calculate your full footprint when you are a manufacturer, as it is often tricky to trace back to the exact origin of your materials.

The other fundamental issue, which is not talked about often enough, is the hidden use of plastics in the transporting industry. As part of our own mission to become plastic-free, we are about to work with world-leading packaging scientists, who have created truly food safe barrier protective tubs which are both plastic-free and home compostable.

What does being vegan mean to you? 

Personally speaking, I turned vegan in 2005. Back then it was a fairly bleak landscape of options:  unsweetened soya milk and the old favourite of side salad and chips whenever you went out for a meal. Which, I have to say holds a fond place in my heart and is up there as a favourite meal!

But joyously, times have changed in ways I could never have imagined. As we move into at an alarmingly fast pace towards complete climate crisis, veganism has become a beacon of hope, a possible solution out of the catastrophic mess we have created.  For me now, veganism is the solution for humanity’s existence on this fragile planet.

And finally, what´s on the Pint Club menu this month? 

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