Swedish oat milk brand, Oatly, has announced that it will stop selling the oat residue to pig farms as animal feed for livestock.
The plant-based milk manufacturer received backlash from the public when it announced that it was selling the by-product to the nearby farm.
Oatly defended the decision at the time by saying that it “eliminated the unnecessary waste of nutrients and at the same time contributed to the production of biogas.”
However, they have secured funding from Swedish governmental agency, Vinnova, to develop a more sustainable use for the residue.
In a statement from the company, Oatly said: “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?”
The grant of 3,455,000SEK ($380,105.45) provided by Vinnova will be matched by Oatly. The funding will help the oat milk brand develop technology to turn oat milk residue in more oat-based consumer products, which currently doesn’t exist.
The construction of biogas energy plants at its production facilities is also being considered, turning the residue into a renewable energy source.
The Swedish company is also holding an event in London at the beginning of December, welcoming the public’s views and suggestions on how to use the residue ethically and sustainably.