Hälsa Foods, maker of the first and only 100% clean oat milk yogurts, announces today that it is working with dairy farmers to offer the opportunity to grow organic oats as an alternative to dairy farming, and has assembled a coalition to support them with the conversion process.
The oat yogurt brand, founded by Helena Lumme and Mika Manninen, is using a Scandanavian method which reportedly results in cleaner, more nutritious and higher quality oat crops. Hälsa oats are currently grown in Scandinavia with a zero water footprint, and now the process will be brought to farms in North America.
Oats are exploding internationally right now and are emerging as the most popular dairy alternative, with +184% more restaurants adding oat alternatives to their menus last year as consumers showed +146% more interest in them as a dairy alternative.
Hälsa states that it has assembled a coalition of Scandinavian organic farmers, researchers and environmental experts to support the conversion process, and will put together a guide book and a video that will serve as a blueprint for other dairy farms on how to start growing premium oats.
The company explains that the oat is a resilient grain that also provide excellent soil erosion control and reduce the need for herbicides. Oats require much less water than other crops, while almonds, cashews or coconuts used for nut-based milks require excessive amounts of the planet’s fresh water resources.
“Oats are one of the most environmentally friendly ingredients for making plant-based milks and other products,” Hälsa co-founders Helena Lumme and Mika Manninen explained. “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 of us and our planet?”
First Hälsa Farm
The first farm to start the work is located in upstate New York in the town of Hoosick. The farm with 300 acres of prime organic land with gorgeous views of the surrounding Vermont mountains is the home to 200 organic milking cows.
“We’re excited to get started,” said Eric and Jamie Ziehm, the owners of the High Meadows of Hoosick farm, along with Sam Cottrell. “Our goal is to build a biodiverse and biodynamic eco system 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.”