Glebe Farm has called for provenance labelling on plant-based products to increase transparency for consumers

New research from Glebe Farm has found 34% of consumers do not know where their oat milk comes from.

But despite this, the brand’s poll of 2,000 shoppers this summer also revealed that 70% thought it was important to know where food and drinks come from, and 64% said they were concerned about the environmental impact of the food and drink they consume.

According to Glebe Farm, the three leading oat milk brands are all made from imported oat syrup or manufactured abroad and shipped into the UK. 

The brand has called for provenance labelling on plant-based products in order to increase transparency for consumers.

“Consumers who care about the environment are being misled by the big oat milk brands,” said Philip Rayner, co-owner of Glebe Farm. “They say woolly things like ‘our oats are sourced from northern Europe’. It’s time for more transparency over where these products come from.

“British farmers can make the UK’s oat milk largely self-sufficiently. You wouldn’t expect to buy a pint of Swedish dairy milk.”

Improved labelling was supported by consumers, with 71% of those polled strongly in support of labelling that indicates where the product has come from, and 66% supporting labelling that indicates environmental impact.

The research also found over a quarter (27%) of respondents were disappointed to find out brands owned by ‘big food’ corporates like Oatly, Arla and Danone are all made with imported oats, and nearly half (45%) said they would avoid imported food and drink for British options if it was clearer.

“So far, the plant milk movement has avoided the provenance question. It’s time to change that and give consumers the information they need to make good buying decisions,” added Rayner.

“Retailers, restaurants and brands all need to do more, whether it’s labelling, ingredient policies or not stocking imported products with high food miles. Where food comes from does matter.”

Glebe Farm oat milk is made using 100% gluten-free, British oats which are fully traceable, grown on or within 40 miles of the family farm in Cambridge.

It has seen sales of its PureOaty Barista Oat milk double in the last year after securing a listing with Morrisons, Holland & Barrett and a wide range of cafés and restaurants.