As you may already know, the dairy industry is struggling in the United States. Thanks to the growing interest in healthier plant-based foods, people are passing by the dairy products and grabbing their plant-based versions instead.
While most vegan or plant-based companies are competing against the dairy industry, one brand is looking to help the dairy industry––but not in the way you think.
Earlier this week, Hälsa Foods––a Scandinavian brand that offers vegan oat-based yogurt drinks––informed that it has a goal to convert U.S. dairy farms into organic oat farms instead. The brand creates its own yogurt products from pesticide-free oat plants that are grown in a region of Scandinavia known as “Oat Valley”. Following suit it plans to bring the same sustainable practices to United States-based businesses as a new business opportunity.
As part of the effort, Hälsa Foods assembled a group of Scandinavian farmers and researchers to curate educational documents. These documents will help U.S. dairy farmers to potentially move toward growing oats instead, which are climate-friendly especially compared to the current dairy industry.
In a recent statement, Hälsa Foods co-founders Mika Manninen and Helena Lumme said the following: “Oats are one of the most environmentally friendly ingredients for making plant-based milk and other products. We are currently importing our organic oats from Scandinavia because we cannot find the quality that meets our standard in the United States. At the same time, US dairy farms are struggling due to slumping milk sales. So we thought, why not come up with a solution that benefits both us and our planet?”
The first participant in the Scandinavian vegan brand’s initiative is High Meadows of Hoosick, which is a New York-based farm that currently milks 200 cows. The owners, Eric and Jamie Ziehm, are very eager to start the process. “Our goal is to build a biodiverse and biodynamic ecosystem that has the ability to regenerate its resources. We hope this will have a positive impact and also inspire our fellow farmers who are facing many challenges today.”
In 2018 alone, U.S. milk sales dropped by a massive $1.1 billion, according to a report by the Dairy Farmers of America. Meanwhile, plant-based foods continue to grow in overall sales by 11 percent, year after year.
Read more from Peter at his blog