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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

Ethical yoghurt

Ethical Yoghurt Brands

See our Ethical Yoghurt Ratings Table to compare brands

So, is yoghurt ethical?

Some types of yoghurt are often recommended as part of a healthy and balanced diet; it’s high in protein and good for the gut. This food has become a popular way of keeping our bodies’ good bacteria happy. However, anyone looking to make sustainable and ethical choices should consider the animal welfare, intensive farming, dairy production and the use of GMOs in vegan products.

Is yoghurt healthy?

Yoghurt is often marketed as a kind of miracle-food. But problematic and ambiguous product information is rife. Brands will sometimes fail to identify genetically modified ingredients and will even publish misleading health claims. In fact, ‘low sugar’ and ‘lite’ products can contain the same sugar content or calories as their regular counterparts. This is because there are no regulations on how these terms can be used on packaging.

Is it vegetarian? 

Dairy farming is a big concern for ethical shoppers who want to buy yoghurt made from cow’s milk. Conditions vary dramatically between dairy farms. Companies don’t make it easy to find out if the milk has been sourced from intensively farmed cattle. To make buying sustainable products even more tricky, sometimes packaging does not clearly distinguish if a product contains gelatin as a thickening agent. Some products might covertly contain animal bones! If animal welfare is a particular concern for you, opt for clearly labelled vegetarian and vegan alternatives. 

However, even vegetarian or vegan yoghurt presents some ethical issues. Dairy-free alternative ingredients often contain additives, preservatives and filler ingredients. Even some vegan options are made from soy. (Soy is a crop that is sometimes genetically modified or grown using pesticides.) 

It’s hard to find an ethical and sustainable vegan yoghurt! But ethical brands are out there…


Ethical yoghurt (cows)

Our research

Our independent research team has analysed the sector of brands selling yoghurt. Our research results found that 2/3 brands failed to meet the ethical benchmark to be considered an ethical yoghurt brand. These brands generally scored the poorest for Animal Welfare, Vegetarian/Vegan and Genetic Modification.

The brands that were recognised as substandard included Activia, Actimel, AlproLight & Free, Oykos and Provamel. These brands are all owned by Danone. Danone is renowned for having a bad ethical reputation. It is recognised as one of the lowest-performing publicly traded companies for human rights standards. Furthermore, Danone has also been identified as being one of the world’s top 10 plastic polluters, whilst also having been accused of misleading the public on their commitment to waste reduction. So these are the yoghurt brands you might want to give a miss!

See our Ethical Yoghurt Ratings Table to compare brands

The research team from The Good Shopping Guide has conducted in-depth analysis of hundreds of brands, including the most popular yoghurt brands. Click on any yoghurt brand name to read this exclusive research on individual brands’ policies on ethics and sustainability.

Nush, The Coconut Collaborative, Yeo Valley, Benecol, Onken, The Collective, Bio&Me, Bonne Maman, Nomadic, Woodlands Dairy, FAGE, Oatly, Arla, Skyr, St Helen’s Farm, Müller, Actimel, Activia, Alpro, Cadburys, Light & Free, Lindahls, Munch Bunch, Oykos, Provamel, Ski, Rachel’s Organic, Frubes, Liberté and Petits Filous.