New Roots: “The Dairy Industry is an Environmental Disaster”

Alice Fauconnet – co-founder of New Roots and Head of Marketing
© New Roots

New Roots are creators of 100% vegan, 100% organic, artisanal cheeses, and winners of a 2018 Peta Vegan Food Award for their vegan goat’s cheese. They are ethical vegans, and strive to spread ethical values and promote the message of animal freedom through their business.

New Roots is the project of Alice and Freddy, who met in the south of France, then realised together that veganism was “the only way to practice unconditional justice.” As new vegans, they had heard a thousand times the old line about people being unable to give up cheese, but felt strongly that people’s tastebuds should not prevail over the lives of sentient animals. They soon came up with New Roots as an artisanal, tasty and exploitation-free alternative to cheese. Alice Fauconnet, co-founder and Head of Marketing at New Roots, spoke exclusively with vegnonomist.

Can you introduce your brand, what was the motivation behind your launch?
New Roots is a Swiss start-up founded in 2015 that manufactures plant-based cheese. Our mission is to provide an ethical and sustainable alternative to classic cheese, without altering its universally loved taste. New Roots cheese is everything traditional cheese is: fermented, aged, delicious. We do that by working from homemade organic cashew milk and using the same artisan techniques of fermentation and ripening as traditional cheese.

What is your current line / portfolio and which are the bestsellers?
As of today, we offer a selection of eight cheeses: three different fresh cheeses, two ricotta cheeses, one camembert alternative, one spread cheese and one aged cheese. Our bestseller is our Soft White, a camembert alternative.

Where is your product line available and do you have plans to expand into other markets?
In Switzerland, our products are available nationwide in organic shops and online on our web shop newroots.store. In England, our products are available in a selection of organic stores in the London and Brighton area and can we ordered online nation wide at Green Bay supermarket. And alles-vegetarisch is a German-based online supermarket that ships Europe wide. Our goal is to cover the European market in a more effective way, and we have also been discussing going overseas.

What differentiates New Roots from other vegan cheese products and how do you stand out against any competitors?
What makes New Roots different is that we make cheese following traditional cheese-making methods. Instead of trying to re-create the texture and taste of cheese by using different food additives, we make our cheese by following ancestral methods of fermentation and ripening that we learned in the heart of the Swiss Alps. We do all that with the clear purpose of putting an end to the exploitation of non-human animals, as we believe the concepts of justice and freedom should apply to every inhabitant of this planet, regardless of their species.

Do you have any new vegan products that you will launch or that are in development?
We are working on a new line of cheese that will launch mid-November.

New Roots artisan cheese
© New Roots

What are you aiming for as a company or what is your mission, and how do you hope to achieve it?
What matters to us as a company is to keep innovating and creating new products without ever compromising either on our product quality and our business ethics, when it comes to animal rights, the environment and our own well-being as a team and a company. We want to keep coming up with new products and well as expanding our distribution network to the whole of Europe and overseas, potentially.

In your opinion, why should the dairy industry continue to acknowledge veganism?
I think the dairy industry needs to face the reality of the situation which is that, regardless of your moral standards, this industry is an environmental disaster. We all need to realise that animal agriculture is a highly ineffective and obsolete system, and work together to find ways to more forward in a more ethical and sustainable manner. Veganism offers just this.

What are your plans for the end of 2018 and 2019?
The end of this year will be all about introducing our new line of products and keeping our customers happy during the holiday season with exciting offers. 2019 will come with new challenges, in terms of product development and marketing strategy, as well as optimisation of our production processes.

Where do you see New Roots in the next five years?
We hope to be on the front line of plant-based cheese and to be able to have a big enough platform to discuss subjects that are important to us: animal rights, the future of the planet, and an overall innovative new way of tackling the very concept of doing business.