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Hershey deal to supply non-GMO products

NOTE: Very significant to see a business like ASDA which is owned by the USA's Walmart getting a US manufacturer to remove GM ingredients from its products. US consumers may well wonder why Hershey isn't doing the same for them, given that it's clearly a practical and profitable option.

----- Forwarded by Peter Melchett/SoilAssociation  -----

From: Julian Walker-Palin/ASDA
To: Peter Melchett/Soil Association
Subject: Asda Hershey deal to supply non-GMO products

Hi Peter,

I hope that you are well? I wanted to drop you a line further to the piece you may have seen on p23 in the FT today (08.12.10). The piece talks about how we have struck an exclusive deal with Hershey to sell their products in Asda from February next year.

The reason I'm emailing is to let you know that we made this deal dependent on Hershey being able to reformulate the products we are selling to use ingredients from non-GM sources. The products include 21 varieties from solid bars of chocolate to Reese's and Hershey kisses. This has meant additional investment on behalf of Hershey and the exclusion of certain products that they are not able to reformulate.

The key ingredients which have been re-formulated from non-GM sources include changing the sugar source from beet to cane sugar and using IP soy lecithin. In addition to this the transportation and storage have been confirmed also as GM-free or cleaned before use with these products.

We took this decision based on our belief that customers in the UK do not currently wish to see GM ingredients in these products. As I'm sure you will be aware this took significant additional work on behalf of Hershey, Walmart and Asda to ensure. All our other products remain unchanged.

Please do let me know if you would like further information.  I have also notified John Sauven and am happy to you to use this information above as you see fit.

Best Wishes, Julian

Julian Walker-Palin,Head of Corporate Sustainability
Corporate Affairs
Asda House, Great Wilson Street, Leeds, LS11 5AD.

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