History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in the United Kingdom and Ireland (1613-2015)

William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-928914-76-1

Publication Date: 2015 June 14

Number of References in Bibliography: 5005

Earliest Reference: 1613

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Brief chronology of soy in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
1613 – Soy is first mentioned in connection with England by Captain John Saris, in the log of his trip to Japan. He wrote "Of Cheese [probably tofu] they haue plentie. Butter they make none, neither will they eate any Milke, because they hold it to bee as bloud [blood], nor tame beasts" (Hymowitz & Newell 1981, p. 280).
      This is also the second mention of soy by a European – the first was in 1603 by Portuguese Jesuits writing a dictionary in Japan.
1679 – Soy sauce has now arrived in England. John Locke, the famous philosopher, first mentions soy sauce in English in his journal (not published until 1829). While in England he wrote, for a traveler, a description of foods and condiments which ought to be enjoyed in London: “Mango and saio [shoyu] are two sorts of sauces brought from the East Indies.” (Lord King, ed. 1829. The Life of John Locke, p. 133-34; Yule & Burnell 1886, p. 651, revised in 1903).
      This shoyu (the Japanese word for soy sauce) was probably exported from Deshima, in Nagasaki harbor, by Dutch merchants. The context suggests that shoyu was widely available in London in 1679.
1680 – William Petyt, in a book on trade titled Britannia Languens… states: “And now we have a new Sawce called Catch-up from East-India, sold at a Guiney [Guinea] a Bottle.”
      This is the earliest document seen that contains the word "Catch-up" (regardless of capitalization) or that mentions catch-up (regardless of the many ways in which it is spelled, such as ketchup, catsup, catchup, ketchop, ketchap, etc.). "Soy" [sauce] is not mentioned, yet this “Catch-up” is probably soy sauce from "East-India," which in this context probably refers to the East Indies and to today's Indonesia. To this day, the Indonesian word for “soy sauce” is ketjap / kecap, pronounced exactly like the English word “ketchup.”
1688 – The word “Soy” is first used in English to refer to soy sauce by William Dampier in his journal, which was published in 1705 as Voyage Round the World… (Vol. II, Part I, p. 26-28).
1690 – “Catchup, a high East-India Sauce” states A New Dictionary of the Terms Ancient and Modern of the Canting Crew,... Again, the word “Catchup” probably refers to soy sauce from today’s Indonesia.
1696 – A voyage to Suratt, in the year, 1689, by John Ovington is published. Suratt [Surat] is a city on the west coast British India. In the chapter on "The English Factory at Suratt," at the section on "Several Sorts of Indian Dishes," the author concludes: "Bambou and Mangoe Achar [pickle], Souy the choicest of all Sawces, are always ready to whet the Appetite."
      This is the earliest document seen that uses the word "Souy" to refer to soy sauce. This soy sauce was probably made in Japan and shipped from there to India in wooden kegs or vats. From there it was usually shipped to England.
1705Pharmacologiæ…, by Samuel Dale [in Latin] discusses Japanese soy sauce (Soia Offic.), which is kept in stock in the pharmacist’s laboratory (Linnaeus. 1747, Flora Zeylanicum).
1712 – The earliest known ad for soy sauce sold in England appears in the Daily Courant (London). “For sale by the Candle…” “There is lately brought over from the East-Indies, a great parcel of Soy [sauce], commonly call'd Ketchup, neat and fine as ever came to England, to be sold Wholesale or Retale [Retail],…”
1733 – The earliest known English cookbook to call for the use of “soy” or “India soy” in a recipe is The Fortune Hunters, by John Breues. Two spoonfuls of “India soy” is used in the recipe for Clear Gravy.
1747 – Soybean products have now arrived in Ireland in the form of Katchup, sold by William Barbe in Dublin. The main ingredient in this Katchup is probably soy sauce.
1753 – The earliest known soy cruets (soy sauce dispensers for use at table) are made by Thomas Betts in London. They are made from miltifaceted cut glass. A pair sells for 6 shillings. By 1768 cruits for soy are being sold in Boston, Massachusetts. By 1776 a silver “cruet frame” or “cruet stand” (made in Sheffield of silver-plated metal) is sold as a base to hold the soy cruets. Also spelled crewets, crewits, creuits, cruetts, and cruits.
      The British were the first people in Europe to take a serious interest in soy sauce, which became the first popular soyfood in Europe. By the mid-1700s the upper classes in Britain had added soy to their list of commonly-used seasonings. Most of this soy sauce was probably made in Japan (and exported from Deshima, a small man-made island in Nagasaki Harbor by Dutch merchants), but an unknown portion may have been made in China.
1776 July 4 – England’s colonies in North America declare independence from the motherland.
1783 Aug. – Quin’s Sauce (by 1788 also spelled Quin Sauce) is now being exported from England to Massachusetts. For all or most of its history, soy sauce was a major (secret) ingredient (John Dorsey. 1783. Aug. 23, p. 3).
1790 – The soybean is first cultivated in England. In Hortus Kewensis, Aiton states (in Latin; 1812, p. 295): Dolichos Soja [the soybean], a native of the East Indies, was introduced to England in 1790 by Walter Ewer, Esq. It flowers in July and August.
1793 Nov. – Harvey’s Sauce (later also spelled “Harvey Sauce”) is now being made commercially in London, England. For all or most of its history, soy sauce was a major (secret) ingredient (Elizabeth Lazenby ad in Times {London}). Walter Lazenby applied for the trademark on 11 Feb. 1876 as “Harvey's Sauce for Fish, Game, Steaks &c…”
      By Sept. 1803 Harvey’s Sauce was being exported to New York City.
1817Beppo: A Venitian Story, a long poem by Lord Byron while he is living in Venice, Italy states: “From travellers accustomed from a boy / To eat their salmon, at the least, with soy;” Another line mentions “Ketchup, Soy [sauce], Chili-vinegar, and Harvey [Sauce],…”
      Byron is discussing the blandness of Venice’s Lenten dishes, which could be made interesting if they were seasoned with soy sauce – which they are not.
1823 – British botanist William Roxburgh, in the earliest known reference to the soybean in British India, describes a variety growing in the Cacutta Botanical Garden (Flora Indica, p. 314-15).
1837 – Worcestershire Sauce, made by Lea and Perrins, 68 Broad Street, Worcester, England, soon becomes the best-known commercial soy product made in England. The main (secret) ingredient is soy sauce. (London Times, 1876).
      By Jan. 1843 John Duncan and Son, of New York, is importing Worcestershire Sauce, made by Lea, Perrins, & Smith, into the United States. Before long imitations and forgeries become a big problem in the USA.
      In the late 1700s and early 1800s various British food and seasoning companies and many British families have begun to develop a host of table sauces based on soy sauce and other piquant ingredients.
1847 Sept. 30 – The worldwide modern vegetarian movement is started in England. The Vegetarian Society is established and holds its first meeting at Northwood Villa, Ramsgate, Kent. But not until the 1970s (except for soy flour during World War II) do British vegetarians begin to discover soyfoods.
1874 – Mellor’s Worcestershire Sauce, made by Mellor & Co., Malvern, Worcestershire, England, is the 2nd earliest known commercial soy product made in England (The Grocer, London, 1874).
1875 – Holbrook’s Worcestershire Sauce, made by The Birmingham Vinegar Brewery Co., Birmingham, England, is the 3rd earliest known commercial soy product made in England (Law Journal. 1888).
1878 Sept. 12 – R.W. Atkinson, an Englishman and Professor of Analytical and Applied Chemistry at Tokyo University in Japan, writes in an article on “Brewing in Japan” in which he describes koji and tané koji in detail, and their use in making shoyu (and saké). It is published in the prestigious British journal Nature. In 1881 he writes another article giving more details.
1880 Oct. – Edward Kinch, an Englishman and Prof. of Chemistry, Imperial College of Agriculture, Komaba, Tôkiyô, writes a long article titled “Contributions to the Agricultural Chemistry of Japan,” which contains detailed descriptions of most of Japan’s different soyfoods, plus the first chemical/nutritional analyses of miso (two types) as well as analyses of tofu, frozen tofu and defatted soybean meal.
1885The Vegetable Garden, by Vilmorin-Andrieux & Co. in Paris is published in English (a translation of the 1883 French edition) with good information about growing soybeans (p. 529-30).
1886Hobson-Jobson:Being a Glossary of Anglo-Indian Colloquial Words and Phrases, by British etymologists Henry Yule and Arthur Coke Burnell contains six early passages related to “soy,” five of them prior to 1800: Lord King's Life of John Locke (1679), Dampier (1688), Ovington (1690), Kaempfer (1712), and Thunberg's Travels (1776). A 2nd edition was published in 1903.
1889 – In Food in Health and Disease, I. Burney Yeo, a physician and Prof. of Clinical Therapeutics at King's College, London, is the first in England to give a review of the use of soya bread in diabetic diets. Soybeans and soy flour first became widely used as food in England and Europe in diabetic diets.
1890 Aug. – Soya Bread, and Soya Biscuits, made by G. Van Abbott and Sons, 6, Duke Street Mansions, Grosvenor Square, W., London, England is the 4th earliest known commercial soy product made in England “Messrs. Abbott have evidently made a very valuable addition to their list of foods which are intended for the use of the diabetic.” (Lancet {London}. 1880. Aug. 16. p. 342-43). The soybeans to make these products were probably imported on a small scale from East Asia.
1901Manchuria: Its People, Resources, and Recent History, by Englishman Alexander Hosie is a brilliant study, with much information and statistics about soybeans and soy products. The Preface states that Hosie was in charge of the British consulate at Newchwang [today’s Yingkou] in Manchuria from Nov. 1894 to July 1897 and from April 1899 to April 1900. In 1900 he made the first careful estimate of soybean production in Manchuria, calculating the amount at 600,000 tons. He also gives detailed descriptions of the manufacture of soymilk, yuba (“bean-curd skin” or tou-fu-p’i), tofu, and “dry bean curd” (pressed tofu or doufu-gan), [soy] bean-cake, and [soy] bean-oil, and is the first to use many of these terms in English.
1904Chemical Technology and Analysis of Oils, Fats, and Waxes (3rd ed., 2 vols), by Englishman Julius Lewkowitsch contains a long and excellent section of “Soja bean oil” (p. 506-08) with a table showing many of the oil’s key constants, such as specific gravity, solidifying point, saponification value, iodine value, Hehner value, and Maumené test.
      In this book the modern term “Soy-bean oil” is first used. The 1st edition, 1895, was based on the German edition by R. Benedikt, but revised and enlarged by Lewkowitsch. New editions are published in 1909 (4th), 1913-15 (5th), 1921-23 (6th).
1906 May – Soybeans are first cultivated in Scotland by “a gentleman who had a garden a few miles from Edinburgh.” He cultivated the soya bean for three years. “Although they grew readily and flowered, he was never able to obtain seeds from them” (Cowie 1906, p. 403-04).
      In “The Culture of the Soya Bean in England,” John Russell says (April 1936): Some 30 years ago [about 1906] Professor [James] Hendrick tried to grow the soya bean at “Aberdeen [Scotland], using Manchurian seed; in the greenhouse a few plants grew and even flowered, but they never produced seed, while in the open the seeds hardly germinated.”
1907 – The first large import of soybeans to England, 400 to 500 tons, is made by a crusher at Liverpool, the beans being shipped from Hankow [China] and delivered at Liverpool at a cost of $50.00 per ton. It is found that an oil valuable to soap manufacturers could be produced and that the by-products, cake and meal, both high in protein, could be utilized by manufacturers of mixed feeds (Julien Brodé. 1910. Special Agents Series {U.S. Bureau of Manufactures, Department of Commerce and Labor}. No. 39. p. 10).
1908 – “Once in a long while an event occurs in the industrial world to change, and sometimes even to revolutionize the set order of things... The latest event to attract prominent attention has been the introduction in an extensive way has been the introduction of the soya bean to the markets of Europe” (Oil, Paint and Drug Reporter. 1909 June 21. p. 7-8).
      England is the first country outside of East Asia to import soybeans on a large scale. Prior to 1908 most people in England (or Europe) had never heard of a soybean. Impetus to these imports and the manufacture of soybean products was given by a shortage of cottonseed and linseed in Europe and by a surplus of soybeans in Manchuria. In Feb. 1908 a cargo of 9,000 tons of soybeans was received at Hull.
(Brodé 1910; Piper & Morse 1923, p. 17).
      Imports of soybeans from Manchuria and Japan to Europe (primarily England) soon reached enormous amounts:
1908 – 60,900 tons
1909 – 412,757 tons
1910 – 442,669 tons
1911 – 321,940 tons
      “The firms which first entered the export trade in Soya beans in quantity were Messrs. Nathanson (Russia) and Messrs. Mitsui and Co. (Japan). Several English firms have also entered the trade, and among these must be mentioned Messrs. S. Macgregor and Co., and Messrs. Jardine, Mathieson [Matheson] and Co.” Also Messrs. [John] Bibby, of Liverpool (Milling 1909. “A New British Industry.” Aug. 28, p. 290, 292).
      A large amount of the early soy oil was used by Lever Brothers at Port Sunlight, in northwest England, in making their well-known Sunlight soap.
      In 1909 Prof. Gilchrist at Armstrong College did the earliest known trial in Europe using defatted soybean meal in livestock feeds. This and other early studies found that soybean meal was of good quality for milk or beef production.
1909 – Soybeans (and soybean products; soya bean oil and meal) have now arrived in Ireland (Carson. 1909. Special Consular Report, No. 41. Part 5. p. 31).
1909 Aug. – Soya Flour is made by the Hull Oil Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Stoneferry, Hull, England (Milling. 1909. Aug. 28). Soya Biscuits (Containing Soya Flour), made by Messrs. Euing and Co., Ltd., Liverpool, England, is also launched the same month (Sawer 1911).
1910 – Soy oil is first used in margarine (in place of coconut oil) in England, where it was found to be a “striking success” (Daily Dispatch {Manchester}. 1910 April 22).
1911 – The UK begins to export soya bean oil (40 metric tons = tonnes) to the Continent; by 1913 these soya bean oil exports had reached a local peak of 3,250 tonnes.
1912 – Soymilk (“synthetic milk”) is first made commercially in England. Named Solac, it is made in London and Liverpool by the Solac Company / Synthetic Milk Syndicate (Lancet 1912. Oct. 19. p. 1095). After inspecting and tasting it, a consulting chemist from the Lancet writes: “The substance looks very like milk and has a round sweet fatty flavor not unlike that of rich milk.”
      This soymilk is made by Goessel’s patented method. One apparent key to the good flavor was the use of a selected strain of lactic culture. The okara from the soymilk was used to make bread (Lancet. 1915. Dec. 5. p. 1263-64).
1914-1918 – Little is known of British use of soyfoods during World War I. However shortly before the war, an enterprising English firm was making great strides with soya products. “Vegetable butter, biscuits, cocoa, milk chocolates and other confectionery, cream, cakes, bread, &c., proved quite a success until a war-time embargo placed upon the importation of soya beans put a stop to the business; the organizers eventually went to America!” (Bowdidge 1935, p. 82). Unfortunately Bowdidge fails to mention the name of the company or its organizers.
1914 May – James L. North, Curator of the Royal Botanic Society at Kew, starts to cultivate soybeans in England. The seeds were said to have come from northern China in 1910. Sown by North in May, “the plants grew to a height of 1½ feet and ripened seed in October” (North 1921, p. 476-77).
1916 – Stewart Stockman, of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, is the first to find that certain types of solvent-extracted soybean meal are toxic to cattle, causing death. This mysterious disease, first reported in 1912, soon came to be known as the Duren disease. Stockman found that the solvent trichloroethylene made the meal toxic.
1921 – The Republic of Ireland attains its independence from Great Britain.
1921 Sept. – British Arkady Co. Ltd. starts doing business. In 1923 or 1924 The Arkady Review, a periodical, starts to be published by British Arkady Co. It soon carries many articles about the use of soy flour in making bread and other foods.
1923 May – Soybeans are first cultivated in Ireland, at the Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin, 3.5 km / 2.2 miles north of Dublin's city center. The source of these soybeans is J.L. North, the Curator of the Royal Botanic Society, London (Eire Department of Agriculture Journal. 1939, March. p. 73-79).
1928 Sept. 21 – Soya Flour Manufacturing Co. is founded by J.C. Ferrée and C.J. Ferrée. In 1930 Dr. Charles E. Fearn appears as a director (Page 1962). In 1933 the company changed its name to Soya Foods Ltd. (MacKay 1983).
1929 – In 1927 the two arch-rival Dutch margarine manufacturing firms Jurgens and Van den Bergh merge to form Margarine Unie, which in turn merges with Lever Brothers in 1929 to form Unilever, the largest oil and margarine company in the world. It uses large amounts of soy oil in vegetable oil and margarine both in England and abroad (Wilson 1954; Switzer 1956).
1929 – Soy Foods Ltd. and the Soyolk Society in Rickmansworth, Herts (North London), start to produce a soy flour brand-named Soyolk by the Berczeller process. Soyolk is the pioneer edible soy flour in England. By 1932 Soyolk is reported to be used increasingly in English foods, partially to replace eggs, milk, and chocolate. Laszlo Berczeller obtained four patents on the flour and related products between 1929 and 1933. He lived for a long time in London during the late 1920s and early 1930s, working with soy flour and larger issues related to Europe's food supply. Soyolk soy flour becomes quite popular. In 1929 a book titled The Soya Bean and the New Soya Flour, translated from the Dutch by Christian Ferrée, is published in London; it describes Berczeller and his work with soy flour (MacKay 1983).
      By 1929 the Soya Flour Manufacturing Co. (Mincing Lane, London) also made Soyolk.
1929 – British Arkady Co. (in Manchester) launches Super Arkady, their first soy product. It contains enzyme-active whole soy flour for use in making breads. The enzymes make the bread whiter and increase shelf life. Robert Whymper was a key man behind the idea.
1929 – After World War I British imports of soybeans and soy products increase rapidly, rising to a peak of 207,000 tonnes in 1929. Britain is Europe’s 3rd largest soybean importer at this time, after Germany and Denmark.
1932 – British Soya Products is founded by Gabriel Phillip Tussaud in Moorgate, London. Their first product was Trusoy, a whole soy flour. In 1982 the company celebrated its 50th anniversary.
1933 Feb. 6 – Soya Foods Ltd. is established by the Ferrée brothers.
1934 – Henry Ford grows and harvests 20 acres of soybeans in southwest England. “For the first time in the history of British farming, a substantial crop of acclimatized soya beans has been successfully grown and brought to maturity in this country. The scene of this experiment is Fordson Estate, Boreham, near Chelmsford [Essex] belonging to Mr. Henry Ford… Ford received the seeds (4 varieties) from Mr. J.L. North” (Times {London}, 1934. Sept. 17, p. 16).
1935 – England's first full book on soybeans and soyfoods is Elizabeth Bowdidge's The Soya Bean: Its History, Cultivation (in England), and Uses, published by Oxford University Press. In the 83-page work she praises soybeans as the world's most valuable legume and encourages farmers to make a serious effort to grow them. She notes that there were many foods "on the London market under names that conceal their soya bean origin," and that soy flour is widely used to make soya bread, breakfast foods, biscuits, cakes, and macaroni. Yet, she adds, “It is unfortunate that the inherent conservatism of the English people to anything new has been the cause of past failures to popularize soya bean food products…”
1936 – Two more important books on soy are published by Brits, both of whom had lived for a long time in Asia. The first is G.D. Gray's All About the Soya Bean, published in London. Gray, a medical officer for many years in China, wrote the book after he retired. He discusses a variety of Chinese soyfoods (including fermented tofu), notes that two companies making soyfoods in England are Dietetic Foods Ltd. and Soya Foods Ltd., laments that soymilk is not generally available, urges the British government to follow the U.S. government in supporting and financing soybean research and development work, and encourages the establishment of a "Soya Association" in England to promote soybeans and soyfoods.
      The second book published in 1936 was F.S. Kale's remarkable Soya Bean: Its Value in Dietetics, Cultivation and Uses, published in India.
1940 April 23 – The Times (London) publishes “A Vital German Supply: The Magic Bean. Soya Food for Man and Beast,” which discusses the central role the soya bean has played in the German diet since World War II began. The Germans are developing “from the soya a flour called Edelsoja, which because of its high content of good proteins (40 to 45 per cent.) and of fats and carbohydrates, can completely replace meat or the other animal foodstuffs” (p. 7-8).
1941-1947 – During and shortly after World War II soy flour is used extensively in Britain as a substitute for meat, milk, eggs, and flour in a vast array of basic foods including sausages, spaghetti, bread, and marzipan. Most of the soy flour was supplied by the U.S. under the Lend-Lease Act starting in March 1941, but quite a bit of whole (full-fat) soy flour was also produced from imported soybeans by British companies, especially Soya Foods Ltd.
      This company, with offices in Boreham Holt, Elstree and a plant at Rickmansworth (Herts.) made Soyolk and other brands of soy flour and, during the 1940s, published a number of pamphlets describing the products and giving recipes. As meat became scarce in Britain during the war, soy flour started to be overused, especially in sausages and "soylinks," which started out as mostly meat and ended up as mostly soy flour, and largely inedible. Soy developed the image of a bad-tasting ersatz foodstuff and the English came to dislike any food with the name "soy" attached to it, in part because of poor product formulations and the use of low quality soy flour. The idea of soy as a source of low-cost high-quality protein was set back 2 decades or more (Learmonth 1963; Fischer 1967).
      Soybean imports, sharply reduced during the war, started again in 1945 and by 1950 had reached 25,000 tonnes, rising to 130,000 tonnes by 1959. Soy oil imports climbed from 4,700 tonnes in 1950 to 12,000 tonnes in 1959.
1944 Nov. – The Vegan Society is established in England at a meeting of 5 other non-dairy vegetarians called by Donald Watson. Their goal is to “end the exploitation of animals by man” and “to seek an end to the use of animals by man for food, work, hunting, vivisection, and by all other uses involving exploitation of animal life by man.”
      This same month the first issue of Vegan News is published. Subtitle: "Quarterly magazine of the non-dairy vegetarians." In April 1946 this magazine is renamed The Vegan.
1945 – Soya Foods Ltd. is purchased by Spillers Ltd.
1947-48 – Production of soy flour in Britain reaches a peak of 31 million pounds. All of this is whole (full fat) soy flour and most of it is debittered. An estimated 50% of this debittered flour goes into baked goods (cakes, biscuits, bread), and 20% goes to grocery products (soup powders, canned goods, salad creams) (Learmonth 1952, p. 30-32).
      In 1948 British Soya Products Ltd. launches Bredsoy soy flour for the bakery trade.
      Learmonth is from British Soya Products, Ltd., London.
1948 – Soya Foods Ltd. Launches Soylac, a powdered spray-dried mixture of Soyolk and cereal flour.
1956 June – The Plantmilk Society is established in the UK. On Oct. 1, the first Annual Meeting of the Plantmilk Society is held at Friends House in London. Mr. C.A. Ling is in the chair. The goal of the society is to make and sell a first-grade plantmilk in the UK (The Vegan, winter, p. 14-16).
1957 Feb.Plantmilk News, a periodical, begins publication in England.
1957 – Diasoy, enzyme-active whole soy flour, is launched by Soya Foods Ltd. of London. It is used as a bread improver.
1958 – Do-Soy, enzyme-active whole soy flour, is launched by British Arkady Co. Ltd. (Arkady Soya Mills) of Manchester. It is used as a bread improver.
1959 May – Wanderlac, a plantmilk developed by the Plantmilk Society and tested on babies for a year, is placed on the market by A. Wander Ltd. of London. It is a powdered infant formula, fortified with vitamin B-12. Dr. Frank Wokes (King’s Langley, Herts) has been the technical director, and Leslie J. Cross the general secretary. In 1961 Wanderlac was renamed Velactin.
1963 – About 75% of the bread made in Great Britain today contains whole soy flour (Arkady Review. 1963. Dec. p. 58-59).
1965 Aug. – Plantmilk is launched by Plantmilk Ltd. of Tithe Farm, High St., Langley, Slough, Buckinghamshire, England. By Oct. 1966 Plantmilk had been renamed Plamil. By Feb. 1979 Plamil had been renamed Soya Plantmilk. Eventually the name was shortened to “Soya Milk.”
1965 – TVP brand textured soy flour starts to be sold by British Arkady under license from Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) of the USA.
1966 – Dragon & Phoenix Co., Kings Cross, 172 Pentonville Rd., London, N1, England – introduces the UK’s first commercial tofu. The company is founded by Mr. Donald Lyen.
      By 1984 the company is the largest tofu maker in the UK, producing an estimated 10,000 kg/week and by 1990 they are producing about 20,000 kg/week (Marshall 1990).
1968 – Although British agronomists have given up trying to make the soybean a viable farm crop in the UK, Ray Whisker begins experimenting with growing soybeans (especially large-seeded vegetable type soybeans) in his small urban garden at East Molesey, Surrey, in the southeast of the British Isles. Breeding soybeans to suit the climate and for use as a high-protein vegetable in home gardens, he soon builds up the largest collection of soybean seed in private hands anywhere in the UK. In 1969 he begins growing Fiskeby V from Sweden – with good results, and by the 1970s this vegetable type soybean, excellent in its edible green form, is available for home gardeners from Thompson & Morgan seed dealers. By 1975 Whisker has evaluated more than 200 varieties and strains from 19 countries and sent well over 25,000 seeds to Peking at the request of the Chinese government (Whisker 1980).
1969 Aug. – Direct Foods Ltd. (of Hampshire, England) is founded by vegans Anna and Peter Roberts. Their first product is Protoveg, a line of meatlike products based on TVP and sold in 9 different flavors and textures, and Smokey Snaps, which resemble bacon bits.
      Previously (1967) the Roberts had established Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), a pioneering organization that addressed the increasing problems/cruelty inherent in the factory-farming system (Roberts 1990). The mission of CIWF is to end factory farming. In 2002 Peter was awarded an MBE, Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for his work with Compassion in World Farming.
1970 ca. – Direct Foods Ltd introduces 20 more convenience (add water, cook and serve) vegetarian protein products sold under the Ranch House brand, These include Sosmix, Goulash, Bolognese, Vegetable Mince, Soysage, Seasavour, Sizzleberg, Savoury Macaroni Mix. etc. All were vegan products except the Bolognese, which contained powdered milk  (Roberts 1990).
1973 Jan. 15 – Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM; USA) acquires 50% of British Arkady Holdings Ltd. which simultaneously acquires its subsidiary British Arkady Co. Ltd. Shortly thereafter Arkady installs textured vegetable protein (TVP) plants in Manchester to ADM's design. Most of Arkady's TVP is being sold to food manufacturers (for use in canned stews, etc.) and institutional foodservice, not to retailers (Burket 1991; Roberts 1990; Mahlich 1994).
1973 – British Arkady starts making TVP in England (Roberts 1990).
1977 – Ray Whisker and Pamela Dixon write The Soybean Grow and Cook Book (64 pages), which draws new attention to both home gardening and soyfoods recipes. They write:
The word ‘soybean’ still conjures up the mental picture of a necessary but uninteresting substance used as an extender when meat is short or expensive. There is also a lingering suspicion that you may be fed disguised soybean when you intend to eat something else. The word ‘substitute’ has always had an unpleasant ring, and most English people are content to relegate the soybean to its role as a farm crop.
The book's interesting recipes attempt to overcome this problem. Whisker continued his breeding work. By 1980, in a major popular article on "The Great Bean of China," he reports that he has developed several soybean strains (including Gemsoy II) that yield better than the widely available Fiskeby V from Sweden. Over the years his work and writing are important in popularizing the growing and use of soybeans in the UK.
1980 – Dalgety acquires the Spillers Group (Woodfield 1981).
1981 – Plamil Soya Plantmilk (Concentrated) is launched by Plamil Foods Ltd., Plamil House, Bowles Well Gardens, Folkestone, Kent, England..
1981 Sept. – The earliest known commercial soyfood products are made in Ireland. Tempeh and tofu are made by Ann Currie and Patrick Duggan at Teac Bán Macrobiotic Center - Fad Saol Foods, 6 Parnell Road, Harold's Cross Bridge, Dublin 6, Ireland.
1982 March – Tofu, The Bristol Vegetable Burger, The Bristol Chili Burger and The Bristol Nut Burger, meatless tofu burgers, are launched by Cauldron Foods Ltd. of Bristol, England.
      Cauldron Foods was formed in Nov. 1981 as a partnership between Philip Marshall and Peter Fagan. They began tofu production in March 1982 (Marshall 1982).
1982 July – The first commercial tempeh in the UK is introduced by the Community Health Center, London, England. It is made by Jon Sandifer and Andrew Leech.
      Also in 1982 (month unknown) Organic Tempeh was launched by Full of Beans Soyfoods in East Sussex, England. It was made by John and Sarah Gosling.
      Also in 1982 (month unknown) One World Foods Tempeh was launched by One World Natural Foods of London.
1982 Dec. – Provamel Soya Drink, in Choco or Plain flavors, is launched by Alpro in Belgium, but sold in health food stores throughout Europe (including, before long, the UK).
1983 – Haldane Foods is founded by Brian Wellsby of Leicestershire, England. Their first two products are Sojal Soya Milk and Heraveg Vegetarian Main Meals [Beef Style, Mince, or Chicken Style].
1984 May – The first non-dairy soy ice cream in the UK is SoyBoy Soymilk Ices, introduced by the Regular Tofu Company Ltd. But it is made in Leicester, England, by Rossa Ltd.
1984 June – Spillers Premier Products, a new company, is formed as a result of the merger in Nov. 1983 of British Soya Products with Soya Foods Ltd. and Slimcea – three well-known and established companies in the food industry.
1984 Sept. – Vegetarian Feasts Ltd., founded by Sonia Newhouse, launches Chile Sin Carne and Stroganoff, two frozen vegetarian entrees with TVP as the major ingredient (Newhouse 1988).
1985 March – British Arkady buys Direct Foods from Anna and Peter Roberts. Direct Foods (which was making good money) had become a major customer of Arkady’s TVP. Direct Foods became the first member of what would become the Haldane Foods Group (Mahlich 1994).
      During the period from 1969 to 1985 Peter Roberts had devoted about 2/3 of his work time to CIWF and 1/3 to Direct Foods. Direct Foods was run mainly by Anna Roberts.
      At the time of the sale Direct Foods had 18 employees and was buying 30 tons a week of TVP from British Arkady (Peter Roberts 1990).
1985 July – The first soy yogurt made in the UK is Sunrise Soya Milk “Live” Fruit Yoghurt (Non-Dairy) in Strawberry, Peach Melba, Black Cherry, or Raspberry flavors, introduced by Soya Health Foods, Ltd. of Manchester. Michael Cole is director of this company, which has been in existence only since March 1985.
1986 Feb. – British Arkady purchases Vegetarian Feasts Ltd. from Sonia Newhouse. This put Arkady in the frozen food business (Mahlich 1994).
1986 April – Genice is established in Wales by Ray Pierce and Irene Barclay to make non-dairy products. Their first product, launched in April 1986, is Genice Ice Delight, a non-dairy frozen dessert in 5 flavors.
1986 May – White Waves (soymilk) is launched by Unisoy Milk 'n By-Products Ltd. of Stockport, Cheshire, England. The product is soon renamed White Wave Soya Milk.
      In May 1987 the company launches White Wave Soya Yogart in Raspberry, Strawberry, Black Cherry, Honey & Muesli flavors. It was renamed Unisoy Soya Yogart in Aug. 1989.
1986 – Mad Cow disease or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is first identified in the UK. Caused by prions (a newly discovered infectious agent), it rots a cow’s brain until it looks like a sponge. Ten cases of the deadly Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) have been diagnosed in humans in Britain over the past 2 years (Centers for Disease Control web page; Newshour with Jim Lehrer. 1996 March 25. PBS-TV; Wall Street Journal. 1996. March 22. p. B1, B5).
1987 – British Arkady buys Vegetarian Cuisine, then merges its modern factory in Coventry with that of Vegetarian Feasts in London (Mahlich 1994).
1987 Aug. – British Arkady buys Haldane Foods Ltd., which owns the Regular Tofu Co. Haldane Foods has an excellent factory and office. So shortly after this purchase British Arkady coins the name Haldane Foods Group Ltd. and begins to use it for the new group of acquired companies. Peter Fitch is the Director General Manager of the group (Mahlich 1994).
1987 Sept. – Rayner Burgess Ltd. purchases Cauldron Foods Ltd. Philip Marshal stays on as operations manager of the new subsidiary (not division). Cauldron is the 2nd largest tofu maker in the UK, making about 15,000 kg/week.
      A distant third is Regular Tofu Co., now owned by the Haldane Foods Group. They make about 4,000 kg/week (Marshall 1990).
1987 Dec. 31 – ADM acquires the remaining shares of Arkady Holdings Ltd. So that it now owns 100%.
1988 Sept. – The Haldane Foods Group purchases the Realeat Co., founded by Greg Sams. Realeat is the dominant player in the frozen vege burger business at the time (Mahlich 1994).
1988 – Some 2,185 cases of BSE are confirmed in Great Britain; this number increased to 7,136 in 1989, then 14,180 in 1990, then 25,025 cases in 1991, then 35,045 cases in 1992, then at least 36,755 cases in 1993. By August 1994 the total number of cases confirmed since the beginning of the epidemic had exceeded 137,000 - more than six times the number predicted by the Southworth Committee as their “worst case scenario.”
      During this time the British government engaged in many cover-ups and much foot-dragging – causing the distrust of British citizens.
      On 18 July 1988 a “ruminant feed ban” is imposed in Britain. Ruminants (that is, cattle, sheep, and deer) are not allowed to be fed protein derived from animals (Richard Lacey. 1994. Mad Cow Disease).
      BSE peaked in the UK in Jan. 1993 with almost 1,000 new cases each week. Thereafter it fell slowly but steadily, but there were still 14,562 cases reported in 1995 and 1,143 cases reported in the year 2000.
1988 June 4 – An article in the prestigious British Medical Journal is the first to draw attention to the danger which BSE could present to the human population in England. The widespread belief that the disease cannot be transmitted to humans who eat the products of animals which were infected is “naive, uninformed, and potentially disastrous. We are dealing with a condition thought to be related to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), scrapie, and kuru - all forms of degenerative encephalopathy – which are transmissible by artificial inoculation and, in the case of kuru, by dietary means.”
1989 March. – The Haldane Foods Group purchases Genice Foods, which now was making non-dairy ice creams, yogurts and margarines. “By this time we were deeply into the healthy food, health food, vegetarian business. This was as the Group's first company to make non-dairy products, and it fit well because their products were basically made from soya.” Dwayne Andreas was very happy with the growth of the Haldane Foods Group (Mahlich 1994).
1990 April – The two brands of soymilk with the largest shares of the UK soymilk market are both imported: Provamel, the best-seller, is imported from Alpro in Belgium. Granose Soya Milk is imported from DE-VAU-GE in West Germany.
      There are four soymilk manufacturers in the UK. The largest is probably Unisoy Milk 'n' By-Products Co. in Stockport (Cheshire County near Manchester) (Marshall 1990).
1990 Dec. 21 – The Haldane Foods Group purchases Unisoy (Mahlich 1994).
1990Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, by Linda McCartney is published in England and New York. As of 1994 this is said to be the world's best-selling vegetarian cookbook. It contains more than 200 recipes and many full-page color photos, uses TVP (both chunk and granular styles) in at least 22 recipes, mostly main dishes.
      Linda and Paul (of Beatles fame) McCartney have been married since March 12, 1969, are vegetarians and very active in the field of animal welfare.
      In about 1994 a line of Linda McCartney Home Style Cooking – Meatless Entrees (frozen) are launched in the UK and USA. Textured soy protein is a ingredient in most (perhaps all) of the products.
1991 Jan. 1 – The Haldane Foods Group purchases Granose, a large and important Seventh-day Adventist food company (Mahlich 1994; Fehlberg 1991).
      With this multi-million pound deal, Haldane establishes itself overnight as Britain's major health food manufacturer.
      The various products sold by the companies in the Haldane Group are being made in five factories: the Unisoy factory (soyamilk), the Genice factory (non-dairy yogurts, ice creams, and margarine), the Haldane factory (which makes all dry mixes), and the Granose factory (which makes frozen burgers and many other non-dry products).
      “The main thing to remember is that this is all part of ADM, it has all been approved by Dwayne Andreas and the ADM board, and it’s very much in line with ADM's philosophy.” Dwayne believes that soy products will play a key role in feeding this world. "To Dwayne, that is a mission." (Mahlich 1994).
      At Helfex 90 in April 1990 in England the Haldane Foods Group launched 21 new products. This was not in celebration of its 21st birthday (Fitch 1990).
1991 Sept. – In the UK, Provamel (made by Alpro in Belgium) has about 42% of the total soymilk market. The four brands made by Unisoy have about 35-37%. The remaining 21-23% is divided among Sunrise, Plamil, and a few others (Rabheru 1991).
      In 1991 over 10 million liters of soya milk were consumed in the UK (Soyafoods {ASA, Europe}. 1992. Spring. p. 3).
      By 1993 Alpro (in Belgium) was by far the largest soymilk maker is Europe, producing about 32 million liters a year (Makowski 1993).
1993 – Provamel Soya Dream: A Non-Dairy Alternative to Single Cream is launched by Vandemoortele (UK) Ltd. (Marketer-Distributor) located at Ashley House, 86-94 High Street, Hounslow, Middlesex TW3 1NH, England. It is made in Belgium by Alpro.
1995 – UK Soya Milk Alliance petitions the European Union. Three leading soymilk manufacturers in the UK (Vandemoortele (UK) Ltd., Haldane Foods Group, and Plamil Foods Ltd.), have formed the Soya Milk Alliance in order to petition the European Union (EU) to accept the term "soya milk." This decision followed a ruling on 16 June 1994 by the EU Milk Management Committee that the term "soya milk" could not be used on soymilk packages in the UK or Europe.
1996 Oct. – Genetically engineered soybeans first become available worldwide from Monsanto. ASA Today (Oct/Nov.), a periodical published by the American Soybean Association (St. Louis, Missouri) states: “Special emphasis is placed on the current situation in the European Union, one of our key export markets.
      “Background: The first commercially available variety of GMO soybeans, Roundup (R) Ready, have been approved for importation and processing by government regulatory agencies in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and Japan. Regulatory bodies in these countries have declared these soybeans safe and the same as conventional soybeans in composition, nutritional profile and functionality. Because these GMO soybeans have been determined equivalent to conventional soybeans in safety and nutrition, government agencies have not required that they be segregated or labeled, either in the U.S. or abroad.
      “Last spring regulatory approval was granted by the European Union allowing the importation and processing of Roundup Ready soybeans into food and feed. However, despite these approvals, consumer acceptance issues regarding biotechnology and GMO soybeans exist in parts of Europe which could affect U.S. soybeans exports to certain European markets. No significant consumer or market acceptance issues regarding GMO soybeans have surfaced outside Europe.
      “Present situation: Greenpeace and other activist groups have mounted strident opposition to the introduction of GMO soybeans into Europe.”
1997 MarchNatural Foods Merchandiser (USA) runs an article titled “Industry responds to unlabeled biotech soy beans: Consumers' concern over genetically engineered foodstuffs could ignite industry-wide demand for labeling.” The article notes that Europeans are boycotting and protesting the arrival of unlabeled genetically engineered U.S. soybeans, and the story is making headlines – especially in England and Belgium (Mergentime 1997).
      There can be little doubt that the strong British resistance to genetically engineered foods is, in-part, based on their experience with mad cow disease (BSE) and variant CJD.
2006 Dec. 8 – The Hain-Celestial Group, Inc. (USA) acquires Haldane Foods Ltd., a UK-based producer of meat-free food and non-dairy beverage products, from the Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM). Haldane's brands include Realeat frozen foods, Granose, Direct Foods and Realeat dry mixes, and Granose non-dairy beverages. Price: About $10.1 million (Hain-Celestial Annual Report 2007).
The large market for soyfoods and other meatless foods and non-dairy products in the UK is clearly due to the very large population there of vegetarians and vegans.

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