Does it REALLY have to be China?

I have been thinking about it for a long time and the Uyghur Tribunal’s ruling that what the Chinese do to Uyghurs amounts to genocide made me finally write this post.

Here’s a quote form the Guardian:

“The report says there is evidence that detainees have been confined in containers up to their neck in cold water, shackled by heavy metal chains and immobilised for months on end. It says some of the detained have been subjected to extreme sexual violence, including gang rapes and penetration with electric shock rods and iron bars. Women were raped by men paying to be allowed into the detention centre for the purpose, the report says.”

I know some ingredients come from China and some processing is done in China. Does it REALLY have to be China?

Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s “complicated”. But where do we draw the line? Nothing will ever change if we keep saying “it’s not so simple and straightforward”. I mean, we are dealing with a genocide here.


Hi @anon67096361. On 2018 indirectly they answered related to the supply chain Huel Carbon Footprint Concerns - #5 by JamesCollier

Also, for example, I don´t like Saudi Arabia or even China regarding human rights, most people feel the same( millions worldwide ). But they still use petrol based fuel and many use an Iphone ( search for Foxconn suicides,etc. ) respectively. Beside other brands we know: China: 83 major brands implicated in report on forced labour of ethnic minorities from Xinjiang assigned to factories across provinces; Includes company responses - Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

I doubt a “fair” or a “pollitically correct” view becoming the core of a food manufacture company, when probably still there are no suppliers alternatives fiiling all the gaps to give us Huel as it is ( volume/quality/price ratio).

Even so I believe that Huel must have a way to control or mitigate that type of ocurrences, in the supply chain.

Hi, Patricius.Thank you for your contribution. Well, I do educate myself and avoid certain brands and products. I know most people (who could afford to do it) don’t. This is precisely the problem. But I do believe Huel is different.

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You raise a really good point @anon67096361 , and it is great that you are not only aware of these issues, but also challenging companies regarding their approach. We need more consumers to do this in order to drive transparency and action in the marketplace.

There is no doubt that there are some serious infringements against human rights occuring in China. Sadly this is not only true for China. Most if not all countries in the world have varying levels of exploitation, slavery, discrimination, and all nature of human rights abuse occuring in their societies. The drivers behind these abuses also vary greatly, so there is no one size fits all approach when trying to tackle them.

Over the last few years we have been working really hard at Huel to make sure we only work with suppliers that share our values, both in the protection of people and the environment. Our first step is to undertake sustainability risk assessments for all potential sourcing countries - this determines the level of investigation that we will take when screening our suppliers. Our investigation has multiple components - including a requirement for an independently verified ethical certification such as SA 8000, BSCI Amfori or SMETA, external database review of supplier financial security and legislative compliance, and supplier visits.

The audits we carry out require a review of the nationality and ethnicity of all workers, assessment of working conditions, and confidential employee interviews.

There are some countries that we will simply not source from as it is not possible to make a proper assessment of the risks, or because the national legislation is insufficient to protect human rights to the level we believe is necessary. However, we do not do this lightly, as we believe it is important to reward good behaviour (with our business) rather than to punish everyone indiscriminately.

At this point in time we are confident that our suppliers based in China meet our requirements. This confidence does not just come from an audit result (after all that is only a snapshot of a few days a year), but is the culmination of many different ongoing sources of information. If at any point we feel that the situation has changed, then we will take immediate action to assess the situation, identify corrective actions, or if necessary to terminate our contract.

A blanket ban can seem like an effective action, we get that. But it is a blunt tool - and it would be simple to rule out every country in the world. It is only by working hard to understand what is happening in your supply chain, encouraging and supporting high levels of performance, and doing so continuously that we can hope to meet our goal of ethical and environmentally responsible sourcing. It is a goal that we are committed to, we are resourcing (both in-house and externally), and for which we very much appreciate your support.


I appreciate your answer, Dan.

I am happy that “there are some countries you will simply not source from because the national legislation is insufficient to protect human rights to the level you believe is necessary”. But come on, if it is really so, China should be top of the list as The Uyghur genocide is its official policy, not an unfortunate accident.

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The legislation in place and the work we do (as mentioned above) allows us to be confident that human rights are protected in our supply chain where China is involved.

To reiterate, boycotting an entire country, or more specifically, the suppliers and manufacturers of that country when it’s possible to make a proper assessment of the risks and ensure human rights are protected to our high standards doesn’t make sense.


I appreciate that you make sure that Huel is not made with forced labor. I’m not being ironic here, you can’t always say that about food that lands on our (European) plates.

You think that boycotting an entire country doesn’t make sense, I think it does, especially in this case. 95% of the citizens of China are satisfied with their government. (a reliable source) I sure hope Huel suppliers are among those 5% but I know they most likely aren’t. I know it pays better to do business with them bad guys than to boycott them. Most western countries do it all the time and in the most hideous ways, e.g. selling arms to whoever pays more.

I have nothing against you personally, Dan. I know there is nothing else you can write here. Merry Christmas to you, Huel team and all the virtuous Chinese.


No problem leaving it there @anon67096361. Have a lovely Christmas too!

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It makes sense to Ben and Jerries.

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@Hypocrisy101 - I’ll make no comment on your remarks. However I don’t feel that it was closely related enough to the topic of conversation and could open a Pandora’s box of other arguments. I have removed your post and the replies.

From your friendly neighbourhood mod. :v:

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