Sweden-based dairy-alternatives firm Oatly is to build a facility in the UK, its first in the country.
The company said the plant, to be based in Peterborough in eastern England, will produce 300m litres of oat beverages for the local market when it opens, with the capacity to reach 450m litres. Oats will be sourced from across the UK.
Oatly, which is planning to launch production at the site in the first quarter of 2023, suggests it will be one of the world’s largest plant-based dairy factories. It is expected at least 200 new jobs will be created at the facility.
The company currently sources its products for the UK from a network of Oatly factories and co-packers in mainland Europe. It said the new factory will “complement this existing network” rather than replace a facility elsewhere.
Ishen Paran, the general manager of Oatly's UK business, said, "Questions about a potential UK factory have been circulating for a while, and we're really excited to finally announce the news of its arrival in 2023. The UK is a really important driver of the global plant-based movement, with growing demand for Oatly across the country, and we're excited to supply this increased demand."
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Oatly, which has attracted celebrity investors including TV interviewer Oprah Winfrey and rapper Jay-Z, has outlined the planned factory's green credentials. It is aiming to use 100% renewable energy and decrease energy consumption, water consumption and waste by 75% at the factory,
The company, founded by brothers Rickard and Björn Öste, announced plans for an initial public offering in February. It sells its Oatly brand of products in more than 20 countries across Europe, Asia and North America.