Local Sourcing and the Rise of Plant Milks
Grounds work with carefully chosen suppliers
Grounds work with suppliers who share our values, and whose products must also provide customers with a great experience. This has always been our instinctive approach to running our cafés and cycle centres. It is a corner stone of our Sustainability Policy.
To read our Sustainability Policy please click here.
Locally Sourced & Gluten Free Oats
Glebe Farm Foods are our supplier of plant milks (oat, soya and coconut), and oats (which we use for our flapjacks and porridge pots).
Glebe Farm Foods supply our plant milks (oat, soya and coconut), and the oats which we use to bake our flapjacks and make the porridge pots sold in our cafés.
The company, based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, is close to our Company Kitchens in Waterbeach,. As all the oats we buy, and those used to make their oat milk, come from this farm, this makes them a local supplier in every sense. As a group of 8 cafés spread out between Bury St Edmunds in the east and Cannock Chase in the west, we get through a lot of oat products!
Glebe Farm is also a family run, independent company, like Grounds. They are the only farm in the UK who both grow and process gluten free oats into porridge flakes, oat flour and oat milk. It is because of this involvement in every step of the process, that they know exactly what goes into everything produced. And this is why the oats they produce are 100% gluten free. For coeliacs (and oat lovers!) their website offers some fantastic recipes, check it our HERE.
Plant milks have seen a huge surge in popularity over the last few years. This change is due to increasing awareness of the impact of animal agriculture on the environment. We are serving more oat milk flat whites, iced lattes and cappuccinos every month.
Working with Glebe Farm means we have a product with a reduced impact on the environment. Their oat milk is both lower in GHG emissions and water use. Check out the attached graphic which gives a comparison of different plant milks and dairy.
Oats also have a much reduced impact on biodiversity. They can be grown in temperate climes which means they are less associated with biodiversity loss. And while they do need more land to grow on than soya or almonds, they need much less than dairy cows. It is because so many of us are removed from the origins of our food, that people underestimate how much feed cattle need or how much CO2 they produce.
Great Tasting Lattes & Flapjacks
But products have to taste great too! We have received great feedback in our cafés and on our media channels that our oat milk flat whites are hitting the spot. And while working with oat milk as a Barista can be different, it is nothing that a little skill and knowledge cannot overcome. Besides, Baristas have always had to adapt and be sensitive to the milks we work with. Even across dairy milks, the skimmed, semi-skimmed and full fat varieties; they behave differently.
So, alternative milks are not only an option for plant based customers, or those with allergies and intolerances. They are a great taste alternative too. And choosing a plant based option, is choosing to help protect our precious environment. Try them in your local Grounds Café. Our baristas will be very happy to talk you through the options and make recommendations!