Oatly unveils plans to build “world’s largest” plant-based dairy factory

The first UK factory is expected to produce 300 million litres of oat drinks per year at launch.

Oatly, a Swedish oat drink company, has announced plans for its first UK factory, located in Peterborough. Anticipated to launch in Q1 2023, the new factory will provide an end-to-end solution for Oatly.

With sustainability at the heart of the planning process, Oatly is working to ensure the new factory “brings value to people and the planet without recklessly taxing the planet’s resources”. The new factory will continue the company’s drive to create a systemic shift in society and the food system towards plant-based.

Johan Rabe, chief supply chain officer, said: “Like everything we do at Oatly, we’ve ensured that sustainability is core to our factory planning. Everything, from the sourcing of our oats, to the production of our product range specifically designed for humans, has sustainability at the heart of it.”

The UK factory is part of the wider initiative from Oatly to build factories fit for the future, with efficient use of resources and minimal negative impact on the planet. With an ambition of continuous improvement in all areas, Oatly aims to use 100% renewable energy, and decrease its energy consumption, water consumption, and waste by 75% each at the factory, by 2029 compared to Oatly’s environmental footprint in 2019.

The new factory is expected to produce 300 million litres of oat drink per year at launch, with the capacity to grow to 450 million litres. This, in turn, will allow plant-based dairy be more accessible for consumers to switch to helping them reduce their climate impact.

Ishen Paran, general manager at Oatly UK, said: “Questions about a potential UK factory have been circulating for a while, and we’re excited to finally announce the news of its arrival in 2023. The UK is an important driver of the global plant-based movement, with a growing demand for Oatly across the country, and we’re excited to supply this increased demand.”