Oatly announces plans to stop selling oat residue to pig farm

Read Time:   |  19th November 2018

Popular Swedish oat milk brand Oatly has announced plans to cease the sale of its oat residue to a neighbouring pig farm following a public outcry

oatly pig farm

Popular Swedish oat milk brand Oatly has announced plans to cease the sale of its oat residue to a neighbouring pig farm following a public outcry.

When news broke that the vegan company was selling its bi-product to feed livestock, the company defended the decision as a sustainable option which “eliminated the unnecessary waste of nutrients and at the same time contributed to the production of biogas.”

However, it also promised to seek out more ethical alternatives that were more in line with its customer’s ethics, and believes the ‘best way forward’ is to ‘develop technology and the refinement of oat residues so that we can turn the oat residues into new oat-based consumer products’.

In a recent statement published by the company, it stated: “The study and analysis of what to do with the residues from the production of our oat drink is one of the most complex and perplexing issues that this company has faced.

“Because we are a science-based company, the first place we tend to look for answers on how to solve challenges is, of course, science. This time, however, we found science alone could only provide partial answers.

“Instead, our meetings have been filled with philosophical discussions: How do we stay true to our overall objective of long-term systemic change by shifting consumption of animal-based food products to plant-based food products without having to make decisions along the way that conflict with our belief system?”

Sustainability

Whilst the company is seeking out alternatives uses for its residue, it will continue to sell the residue to local farmers on sustainability grounds, claiming the farmers they were work would seek alternative nutrients “which historically has meant South America where the growth of soy concentrates has contributed to the deforestation of the Amazon and proven fatal to the ecosystems of that region”

“While this technology does not currently exist, the benefits would be game-changing,” the company added. “We are therefore excited to announce that we have just received a grant from the Swedish governmental agency for innovation, Vinnova…we will match their initial grant…for a total of SEK 3,455,000 ($380,105.48).

“This project started on June 1, 2018 and will continue through January 30, 2020 with the aim to develop two new food prototypes produced in pilot-scale and evaluated for their commercial viability.”

Expert panel

Oatly is keen to let its customers know that it is open to hearing other viable solutions, and will be hosting an event in London in early December where the public will be given the opportunity to speak to Oatly’s experts and share their own ideas.

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