Forca Vegan Magazine: Issue 1

Page 80

the highly individual Adrian Ling who is an outspoken and ardent campaigner for the meaning of veganism. The Plamil message has been clear for many years, upholding the original values of Vegan, ethical sourcing and logical labelling.

Adrian Ling, Plamil’s CEO, looks back on the early days of Plamil and the first vegan chocolate.


nyone who meets the Plamil team is always impressed with the drive and energy they have for all things chocolate. Indeed they have a food passion that has transcended the generations, for indeed it is generations since the company was founded by a group of pioneers that could, as it happens see well into the future with astonishing clarity. ‘Foodies’ are not often associated with ‘vegan’ but these vegan pioneers such



as Arthur Ling and Leslie Cross translated the early ideals of wanting dairy and meat free foods into actually producing products. It could be said that both from the products they made in the 1950s, 1960’s and following years set the scene and seeded the marketplace with products, that in the last few years has become a multi billion pound market place. Plamils roots are indistinguishable from the Vegan Society but today Plamil is headed by

From its origins of manufacturing of soya milk, Plamil soon identified that chocolate, even dark chocolate had a milk content. This remains the same today as it did in the past. “The only solution to provide a milk free chocolate was to make it ourselves” say Adrian. In 1983 I was at college studying engineering and my father suggested Plamil were going to start to manufacture chocolate. “Whilst engineering background was useful, who could resist the world of chocolate” he continues. So that’s how, unlike so many chocolate brands, Plamil manufactures chocolate in its own factory. Quite fitting Adrian points out that now part of the dairy free Plamil manufacturing site is in what was once an old dairy. The early years of producing chocolate were highly eventful, making chocolate for a limited market, with just enough return to start to invest in better and newer equipment. Looking back Adrian says that he is glad that it really was a ‘hands on’ production. “There were just three of us then, a great way to start to understand chocolate manufacturing, the realities of equipment and how to put a formulation together”. He remembers