I’m not boycotting Oatly (yet)

10% of Oatly is now owned by Blackstone, and its customers aren’t happy. But I’m not boycotting Oatly — here’s why.

“We thought that if we could convince them that it’s as profitable to invest in a sustainability company like Oatly, then all the other private equity firms of the world would look, listen and start to steer their collective worth of 4 trillion US dollars into green investments.”

Why are Oatly’s fans so angry?

Since the news about Blackstone reached the media, Oatly has been facing a backlash. Criticisms like ‘you’re selling out to the highest bidder’ and ‘you’re supporting trump’ are all over social media.

Alternative Oatly ads by @goodhustle on Twitter.

“We promise to be a good company, which means that our drive to help people upgrade their lives always comes before the reckless pursuit of profit.”

Alternatives to Oatly

But if we boycott Oatly, what are our other options? We know that oat milk is the best choice to reduce the carbon emissions from your diet, so stick to oat-y options we must.

Alpro and Provamel

I’m grouping these two together because they’re both 100% owned by corporate giant Danone. Shocking, I know. Whereas Alpro is well-recognised as a large profit-focused brand, Provamel gives off the impression of being a smaller, sustainability-focused brand with their organic ingredients, expensive price tag, and is found mostly in local delis and health food stores.

Supermarket own brands

According to Ethical Consumer the least ethical choice would be to buy supermarket own brand non-dairy milks — Tesco, Sainsburys, Aldi, Asda, the lot. This is because supermarkets are inherently flawed as a system for food distribution, from ‘unhealthy’ foods being the cheapest and most readily available to the huge amount of food waste generated, to questionable (at best) sourcing of products.

Minor Figures

Minor Figures has been widely suggested as a good alternative to Oatly. It’s a similar price point, retailing at around £1.50-£2.00 a litre. They’re a coffee company who claim to ‘care about climate change’ and the purpose of developing their oat milk was the realisation of the impact of dairy.

Small-scale producers in your local area

As demand has grown for non-dairy milk alternatives, we have seen more and more startups popping up to meet that demand. Many of these are also focused on the growth in the plastic-free market, often offering plastic-free non-dairy milk deliveries to the door. There’s M*lkman in London (now offered across most of the South via various distributors), New Milk in Bristol, ReRooted in Devon and Cornwall, and more.

Making your own homemade oat milk

Undoubtedly the most sustainable and ethical option is to make your own oat milk at home. If you choose organic oats grown in your own country, you’re minimising emissions from production and transport. Plus, it means no plastic packaging to contend with.

So, here’s why I won’t be boycotting Oatly

Ramblings on communication and our climate crisis🌱

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