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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical is Hovis?

Hovis is a brand of bread which has a below-benchmark score on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Bread Ratings Table. Although Hovis has not yet met our ethical benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future.

We would have extra confidence in Hovis if it submitted itself to apply for Ethical Accreditation, whereby The Good Shopping Guide would make further detailed assessment and recommendations for ethical improvement.

Find out more about the ethical issues facing the Ethical Bread sector.

What does Hovis do?

Hovis is a brand of bread launched in 1890, the name replaced ‘Smith’s Patent Process Germ Flour’ and comes from the Latin ‘homini vis’ which means ‘strength of man’. Hovis is now owned by Endless LLP.

In which areas does Hovis perform poorly?

Hovis was marked down under our criteria for Palm Oil, as its parent company states that it does use ‘sustainable’ palm oil in its products. Endless LLP owns an engineering company involved in ‘nuclear solutions’ and one called ASCO providing services to oil and gas companies, so Hovis gets a bottom score for our Palm Oil, Nuclear and Fossil Fuels criteria.

Find out more about how we rate by exploring our ethical criteria.

Past Criticisms of Hovis’s record

In 2021 the workforce at Hovis’ Belfast plant went on strike over their wages which were said to be over 10% lower than their British counterparts.

In which areas does Hovis score well for its ethics?

We found no public record criticisms of Hovis relating to GM, Animal Welfare or Political Donations so it scores well for these criteria.

How can Hovis improve its ethical rating?

The below-benchmark score that Hovis is awarded with on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Bread Ratings Table is the result of an evaluation of multiple ethical criteria. To reach our minimum ethical benchmark and qualify for Ethical Accreditation, Hovis has some issues to resolve, including its use of Palm Oil and involvement with Nuclear power. If it applies for Ethical Accreditation, The Good Shopping Guide will be able to give Hovis some guidance to improve on these areas.

Were you aware that your brand could benefit from Ethical Accreditation? Brands accredited by The Good Shopping Guide can display our Ethical Mark, showcasing to consumers that it is an ethical and sustainable brand. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us or complete a Free Initial Assessment form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels


  • Palm Oil Free



  • Animal Welfare



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating