New Zealand’s first plant-based milk factory will soon be built in the country’s Southland region. NZ Functional Foods Ltd.—a new company created by regional development agency Great South—plans to build a carbon-neutral plant-based food processing factory to produce products using the country’s viable plant crops, such as oats, hemp, and peas. The first product made will be oat milk. Great South has been working on alternative ways to support the area’s economy. Currently, oats grown for the country’s first homegrown oat milk brand, Otis Oat Milk, are grown and milled in the region and then sent to a factory in Sweden to be turned into milk before being returned to New Zealand. 

Home-grown oat milk
“Great South has been working on the potential of oats as a product for some time, with a view to supporting the diversification of the Southland economy,” Great South chairman Ian Collie said. “We are very excited about the potential that this project represents for investors, potential suppliers, and ultimately a rapidly growing domestic and international customer base.”

Great South hopes that developing the oat industry will create competitive and sustainable land-use options for Southland farmers, more jobs, and diversify the Southland economy. The NZ Functional Foods company is currently looking for interested investors.

Photo Credit: Otis Oat Milk

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