Learning English - Words in the News
23 May, 2007 - Published 16:40 GMT
Mars bars to remain vegetarian
Mars has reversed its plans to use animal products in some of the UK's best selling chocolate brands. This follows a campaign by the Vegetarian Society and Mars has apologised to vegetarians, who were very unhappy about the company's plans. This report is read for us by Yvonne Archer:
The firm, Mars, had said it would change the whey used in some of its products from a vegetarian source to one with traces of the animal enzyme, rennet. Rennet is extracted from calves' stomachs and was to have been used by the parent company, Masterfoods, in all its ice cream versions of the chocolate bars too.
The Vegetarian Society organised a campaign against the move, asking members to voice their concerns to Masterfoods. And in just one week, more than 6,000 people bombarded the company with phone and e-mail complaints. Forty MPs also signed a petition to voice their opposition.
Fiona Dawson, managing director of Mars UK, said the company had listened to customers and decided to reverse its decision.
We have received lots of contacts from people who enjoy our products…It became very clear, very quickly, these people who love our products, actually, were very disappointed in our decision. So we realise we've made a mistake and we're terribly sorry about that and we've pulled out all the stops to reverse this and ensure that we can allow these people to continue to enjoy the brands that they love at Mars.
There are three million vegetarians in the UK but Mars upset a lot of their other consumers too. The Vegetarian Society had called the move by Mars "incomprehensible" and "a backward step". So for Liz O'Neill of the Vegetarian Society, victory was sweet indeed!
We are absolutely delighted that Mars Foods are celebrating National Vegetarian Week by admitting they've made a mistake. This is wonderful news.
Yvonne Archer, BBC Learning English
is extracted from calves'
to voice their concerns
MPs also signed a petition
reverse its decision
pulled out all the stops
a backward step
victory was sweet
Try a comprehension quiz based on this story
Download lesson plan 73k