Gardein is a unique company in the sense that their already environment helping product line is accompanied by an ever-evolving corporate structure keen on furthering sustainability. Gardein’s general commitment to sustainability makes their brand an easy one to favor, but the delicious taste of these meat-free sausages is what really makes a customer loyal. Their product sliced Italian saus’ages is a combination of different plant proteins, ethically transformed into a delicious meal.
These sliced saus’ages are plant-based and made primarily of water, soy protein, and wheat, providing a tasty alternative to traditional Italian sausages. The ingredients are verified as GMO free from the Non GMO Project and the saus’ages are also vegan. It is difficult to determine where exactly the ingredients for these saus’ages come from which detracts from the planet score for this section. Gardein does provide some clarity stating “Wherever possible, we use organic or certified non-gmo ingredients, with the majority coming from north american farms. We like to diversify our proteins by using wheat, soy and pea proteins. We’re also the first company of our kind to add ancient grains—quinoa, amaranth, millet and kamut®. Some of our spices come from india and our grains from south america.” This statement is a bit vague which factors into their lower planet rating, but the lack of specificity could be the result of variability in sourcing products and the difficulty in providing specific information to consumers. However, since the ingredients of these meat-alternative saus’ages are sourced mainly from North American farms and the final product can be stored in the freezer for an extended period of time, these are much more sustainable than traditional sausages.
As a part of their commitment to sustainability, Gardein is proud of their ethical manufacturing practices. They boast that they have completed the safe quality foods audit program and their manufacturing is carefully monitored enough to include kosher foods. They also report that their facilities are Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) certified which contributes to their superior manufacturing practices. Since Gardein is making an active effort to manufacture their products in a sustainable manner and continue to improve their practices, this brand deserves more recognition.
Gardein is committed to providing all vegan food products that can be used as meat replacements in meals. Under the umbrella of Conagra Brands which includes multiple other food brands, Gardein and Earth Balance are their notably sustainable subsidiaries. Gardein’s parent company has a strong corporate ethics focus and they seem to be performing well regarding employee satisfaction and employment practices. They have diversity and inclusion initiatives and have received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality index for the 5th year in a row. Conagra Brands also proudly states that they “actively pursue contracts with minority, women and veteran-owned companies” which contributes to their high planet rating in this section. Gardein’s sustainable goals put an emphasis on their desire to celebrate the possibilities of meat-free meals.