Set to launch in the first quarter of 2023, the new production site will form part of a new end-to-end integrated supply chain in the UK. It is being supported by investment expert Integrated food Projects.
The factory will be able to produce 300m litres of oat drink per year at launch, with the capacity to grow to 450m litres. This would make it one of the largest plant-based dairy factories in the world, according to Oatly.
Plans to build the plant come as part of a wider initiative by the manufacturer to build factories with efficient use of resources and minimal negative impact on the planet.
Oatly is also aiming to use 100% renewable energy and decrease its energy consumption, water consumption and waste by 75% each at the factory by 2029 – compared to its environmental footprint in 2019.
Oatly chief supply chain officer Johan Rabe said: “We look forward to supplying the UK with more oat drink – we’re even more excited to do it in a sustainable way. Even as we strive to grow one of the biggest plant-based dairy factories to its full capacity, this will still be our top priority.”
In an effort to achieve these goals, the new Oatly site will locally source its ingredients as the manufacturer continues to promote plant-based diets as a more sustainable option.
Matt Carr, joint-managing director at Integrated Food Projects, added: “There is a huge demand for Oatly products in the UK, and we are delighted to be working with them to deliver their vision of what a factory of the future can achieve.
“Sustainability is at the heart of Oatly’s business and helping to create a new factory and UK supply chain, in line with the ethos of the Oatly brand, is vital for the successful delivery of the project.”
Meanwhile, Tyson Foods and Micarna will present at Food Manufacture's virtual Plant-based Protein Conference on 31 March, giving their perspectives on their plans and production challenges they face.