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DRINKING WITH CONSCIENCE


website: www.innocentdrinks.co.uk

innocent drinks
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company: Innocent Drinks
country: UK
product: natural drinks
distribution: mainly in UK

Innocent Drinks was born when three college friends joined together to start their own business. The mission of the company is providing natural, pure juice drinks and nothing else. Literally, nothing else - "No sugar. No water. No concentrates." The juices are produced in the countryside. The fruit gets squeezed and bottled overnight and is distributed in different towns early in the morning.

Research carried out by the UK government and independent laboratories has shown that the inclusion of more fruit and vegetables in everybody's diet could lead to reductions of up to 20 per cent in overall deaths from chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. Each bottle contains the recommended daily intake of fruit.

products: the drinks are completely natural and taste good but aren't organic. This is due to an insufficient supply and to the necessity of using an optimum variety of crop, the right kind of organic 'exotic' fruits, such as mangoes and passion fruits, year-round. Organic fruit is still expensive, which would make the drink very expensive. However the drinks are regularly tested for pesticide residues from independent verifiers. For the same reasons of volume and quantities the fruits are not coming only from Fair-Trade production.

packaging: the product packaging is also a clever representation of the brand. Unlike its competitors, Innocent is simple and rather muted. The bottle is clear with a simple product information band in one colour. The product stands out precisely because it is so different from the other loudly colourful beverages on the shelf.

Innocent Drinks uses plastic bottles to package their products the 'smoothies' and the 'thickies'. In 2002 it reduced the amount of plastic they used in the bottles by 10%, which was a significant reduction in the amount of plastic. Since May 2003 Innocent Drinks' bottles are made from 25% recycled plastic. The company is trying to raise the recycled content.

social commitment: the company funds some social programmes to offset its environmental impact. One such programme is the co-operation with an NGO in Andra Pradesh,India called Women for Sustainable Development. Their concern is to provide support for the most rurally impoverished by giving them the resources to become self-sufficient so they don't need to sell their labour to the fruit plantations. This takes the form of planting cash crops and providing cows for families. Basic things that make a real difference. And then providing health insurance, irrigation schemes and the like to ensure the investment pays off.

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