Oat milk brand Oatly is looking to defy the rules of a major barista tournament that only allows the use of cow’s milk.
Oatly filed a complaint about a barista contest that disqualified oat milk / Unsplash
Swedish dairy alternative brand Oatly is taking out the World Barista Championship for an ‘outdated’ rule limiting competitors to using cow’s milk.
Accusing the coffee-making contest organizers of being beholden to “Big Dairy,” the oat drink brand points to the exclusion of alternative forms of milk from the rules of the espresso-making contest.
Calling the restriction “ridiculous”, Oatly argues it’s the perfect partner for roasted coffee beans and the planet because it’s not reliant on methane-belching dairy cows.
Warning that competition risks falling behind as consumers embrace plant-based beverages, Oatly called on Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) organizers to tear up the rules and change with the times. he also provided a series of condescending suggestions for other outdated rules, including requiring competitors to arrive by horse-drawn carriage; insisting that judging be conducted in Latin and resorting to a sunset duel as a tiebreaker.
Toby Weedon, Head of Oatly’s Barista Development Team at EME, explained: “SCAs are meant to represent us as coffee professionals, but we are seeing an increasing number of baristas being deprived of their rights that no longer want to be competitive because they do not consume animal products.
“There has been an incredible increase in the consumption of plant-based coffee across the planet. For example, most of the cafes we speak with in London serve more coffee with an oat drink than with cow’s milk, and some cafes in Sydney report that more than 80% of orders are for of plants. »
Seeking to spark a wider backlash through the spread of internet memes mocking the exclusive use of dairy products, Oatly wants to build support for a resolution that would change the rules.
Oatly has previously been sanctioned by the ASA for “misleading” environmental claims after failing to use the word “probably” when citing expert opinion.