The new oat milk plant at its site in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire will produce the company’s first gluten- and dairy-free oat milk drink and has a daily capacity of 50,000 litres. Glebe has created two new jobs to aid the running of the new plant.
Work commenced on the extension to its existing gluten-free oat production site at the end of 2019, with a majority of the spend going into new machinery, tanks and vessels. A new laboratory testing area and a central office were also added to the space.
Commenting on the launch of the plant, managing director Rebecca Rayner said: “Our seed-to-shelf philosophy is central to our business and as the oat category, especially oat drinks, continues to evolve, it was crucial that we invested in our site.
Future-proofing Glebe Farm
“This several million pounds investment is designed to future-proof our business. The building and machinery have all been built to our specification and will give us increased capacity to produce our oat drink to meet this demand.”
The opening of Glebe Farm’s new oat milk processing plant followed strong year-on-year growth for the oat drinks sector, according to data from Kantar, with retail sales up 72.9% in the UK.
“We are incredibly excited about the future for our business”, Rayner added. “The investments we have made particularly benefit our oat drink, which has been developed in conjunction with baristas and works perfectly with all types of coffee beans to create a creamy and delicious drink every time.
“Now all of our expansion plans have been implemented, we are in the perfect position to supply the growing demand of foodservice and retail customers for a high quality oat drink for years to come.”
UK oat processor
Glebe Farm is the only farm in the UK growing and processing gluten-free oats into porridge flakes and oat flour, according to the manufacturer. A designated processing unit steams and rolls the gluten-free oats to be used by manufacturers and bakers.
The oats are also used in the processor’s own retail packs of gluten-free porridge oats, muesli and granolas.
Meanwhile, dairy processor Meadow Foods has invested £4m in a new plant-based manufacturing facility at its Chester site.
Building on the new site began in January this year, with food production expected to begin by the end of 2020. It followed a £6.8m investment in its facilities last year to improve efficiency and increase capacity.