Two former dairy farmers who could no longer face sending animals to slaughter have released oat milk available in reusable glass bottles instead, Plant Based News can reveal.
Jay and Katja Wilde of Bradley Nook Farm in Ashbourne, Derbyshire worked with organization Refarm’d to pivot their business from animal-based to vegan. The farm is the first of Refarm’d’s partners in the UK to beta-launch its oat drink.
Their farm-fresh oat milk is now available to subscribers at select pick-up locations in the Midlands – just in time for Veganuary. The scheme is currently limited to 100 subscribers.
Former dairy farmers
Jay Wilde inherited the farm in 2011. It had originally produced conventional dairy, but moved to organic beef in 1997. But Wilde could not live with the guilt of sending animals to their death, and in 2017, made the decision to stop the slaughter.
In a statement sent to Plant Based News, he said: “At some point, I couldn’t stop seeing the animals as individuals.
“I just couldn’t send them to their death at the slaughterhouse any longer.”
Bradley Nook Farm
The Wildes sent the herd to Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk with the help of The Vegan Society and the Manchester-based Vegan Organic Network. This became the subject of BAFTA-winning documentary 73 Cows.
They then started looking at alternative methods of making a living.
At this point, they were approached by Geraldine Starke, founder of Refarm’d – a startup that assists dairy farmers in their transition to plant-based beverage production, using only organic and locally sourced ingredients. A partnership formed and today the Wildes are offering oat milk.
‘Dairy is struggling’
“The dairy industry is struggling. I believe that to help our farmers, we need to work with them and help them get out of this system. That’s what we at Refarm’d are trying to do,” Starke said in a statement sent to PBN.
“Our model is conceived such that farmers keep their identity, their dignity, their farm, and their animals while being self-sufficient. We want to show what the future of farming could look like.”
The organization adds that the Wildes’ shift ‘comes at an opportune time’. UK plant-based milk sales ‘were up 28.3 percent last year and 32 percent of British households are now buying dairy-free milk, according to Specialty Food Magazine‘.