The Swedish oat milk brand Oatly have faced a mixed response from the public this week after it became apparent that their oat waste, a by-product of the oat milk process, is sent to a local pig farm as feed. Some Twitter users have been questioning the morality of this as a vegan-friendly company, whereas others have accepted that the company would rather recycle than dispose of this by-product.

The company have spoken out in a statement, clarifying their reason for recycling the oat residue. In the statement, Oatly said: “Our ambition to be both the most transparent and sustainable company in the food industry doesn’t mean that we are by any means perfect.

“Our approach to sustainability is driven by scientific facts. We have looked at every means possible to contribute to the future of our planet. Yes, sending out production residuals to a local farm as feed has eliminated the unnecessary waste of nutrients and at the same time contributed to the production of biogas.

“And with the help of biogas our production plant has become totally carbon neutral. This accomplishment does not, however, free us from the need to constantly probe deeper in order to reach our other core objective – to promote plant based nutrition over animal based nutrition in every way possible.”

You can read the full statement here.

The matter has sparked debate on Twitter, with fans of the brand both supporting their cause of sustainability, and others are angered by the news that they are supplying the oat residue to the animal agriculture industry.

Do you agree that using the oat residue is a sustainable use of nutrients, as opposed to more land being used to directly supply the animal agriculture industry?

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  1. Eunice on February 10, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Tricky one but looking to the future I think it’s good to not waste any thing hoping pig farms will be history in a decade or three. If they could donate it to sanctuaries id be happiest but probably the amount they dispose of is too large

  2. Cassie James on September 3, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Surly it is better that the animals are eating a product that is not full of chemicals and growth hormones and is a good natural source of food

  3. Terry Conrad on December 5, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    Definitely should not go for food for animal agriculture. Cruel and unsustainable. Should be returned to the Oat suppliers for compost. This would keep the cycle closed and would mean less mineral depletion on the suppling farm. The farms should be working a crop rotation system thus not getting nitrogen depletion or organic matter loss. If not they should compost it themselves taking in other organic matter from other processors to get the correct mix for digestion. If gas is neeeded for heating processes in their factory, they can draw this as biogas and compost the remaining residue. No excuses for aiding animal agriculture and it’s animal and human suffering. Vegan Organics Kent

    • Ype verhey on September 7, 2021 at 12:14 pm

      To avoid residues, just eat the oats unprocessed, for example as oat porridge. The idea of processing oats into “milk” is wasteful and by feeding the residue to pigs oatly is actually producing animal feed and is indirectly a meat producer. Better eat the oats whole than to feed part of it to pigs.

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