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Petitioning Blackstone Group, Oatly Group AB, Oatly

We would like Oatly to renege its injunction on Glebe Farms immediately. #FreePureOaty

Plant milk makers Oatly - a huge multinational company worth more than $15bn - are suing a family run oat milk company right here in Cambridgeshire. While Oatly maintain an HQ in Sweden, they are now just another multinational corp, with investment from Howard Shultz, Oprah Winfrey, and even the Chinese State-owned conglomerate China Resources.  They are now rather aggressively, and wholly unnecessarily, attempting to stop a much smaller family owned oat milk company from selling, and sowing its own oats, as it were.   “Oatly, the plant milk maker backed by Oprah Winfrey, and American owned Blackstone Group, is in a court battle with a Cambridgeshire farm over alleged trademark infringement.” - from the BBC article “Oatly sues UK oat milk maker over trademark” 10 June 2021. Trumpeting themselves as “the world’s original and largest oatmilk company”, with $447 Million LTM Q1 revenue, 32,200+ coffee shops, 60,000 retail doors, 9 planned production facilities by 2023, and having recently opened up smaller shares to the public in May, lawyers for Oatly sought a High Court injunction on Thursday to stop Glebe Farm Foods selling its PureOaty brand. How can a little family owned farm in the Cambridgeshire countryside be a threat to this growing behemoth you may ask? The simple answer is, they are not, and they certainly do NOT have the resources to defend themselves in court when they should and could be putting all their money, resources and energy in to growing their own brand and business, so that one day they too can have a “spokesperson” answering media questions.  Oatly said it contacted the PureOaty makers at the start of the pandemic in early 2020, saying "their branding infringed our trademark". “Farmer Phillip Rayner, who owns Glebe Farm, said the PureOaty name was "a nod to the purity of the product". Mr Rayner said that his company began producing the beverage using British-farmed oats about 18 months ago, but Oatly now wants Glebe Farm to stop using the PureOaty brand and change its packaging.” As a small company, it costs money to redesign and change packaging, and what would Oatly like Glebe to do with the packaging it already has lined up ready to be filled with its own oatmilk? A landfill perhaps?  “A spokesperson for Oatly said, "we unfortunately received no constructive response from them. We are therefore now involved in an ongoing court case and we have no further comment as we await the results." The Cambridgeshire farmer said: "Oatly says the name and packaging is too similar to theirs, but when we compare the two products side by side, we are surprised by this." - excerpts from the BBC article “Oatly sues UK oat milk maker over trademark” 10 June 2021 To be very clear, both brands are differing shades of blue, look absolutely nothing alike, and have completely different names. Or perhaps Oatly will be attempting to copyright and trademark the word “Oat” next? We would like to meet this aggression by asking Oatly to kindly cease and desist this behaviour, withdraw your injunction and truly “upgrade others lives” like you say you strive to do on your own website.  Healthy competition CAN be healthy. Monopolies are not. Do better! #FreePureOaty 

Riadh Falvo
131,549 supporters
We would like Oatly to renege its injunction on Glebe Farms immediately. #FreePureOaty

Hello petition signing person, you won! Well, not in the sense that we did what your petition called for, we were never going to drop the case, but the court ruled in favour of Glebe Farm and since we only did this to settle a dispute we now consider it settled and won’t appeal the case. We guess for a lot of you this is the voice of the behemoth enemy writing but let us make it clear that we do not have enemies, we are all in this together and we especially believe the majority of you to be a part of the plant-based movement, fighting for a better and more sustainable world in all ways possible. We also want to be very clear that we do not view Glebe Farm as a threat or as a company that needs to be stopped in any way. We believe that OATY is too close to OATLY and asked them to instead sell their oat drink in the same way they sell their other plant-based beverages. Glebe Farm on their part said they believed it was not too close. That was the dispute, and the best way available to settle it was through the legal system designed to do just that. Now it’s settled. Many people told us it was petty, in a big business sort of way, to try to protect our name and the likeness of it but for us it was a bit more personal than that. Back in the 90-ies when we invented Oat drink it was hard to get anyone interested in it. But we knew we had the drink of the future and worked hard for 20 years to get people to see what we saw. Since then, our movement has grown exponentially, like it must in order to be a success. Community and collaboration are the most important parts of that growth and will forever be the Oatly way of doing things. But we have also learned the hard way that while sharing is caring, some companies are only interested in taking without giving and that’s why we need to protect what we love and care about. Like all healthy relationships, boundary’s need to be set and respected. The thing is, there’s no way to distinguish a sharing and caring company from a taking without giving one and a bad one will generate damage for all of us. If we were to let one company pass because they, like Glebe Farm, seem to be one of the good guys, that might leave the door open for the bad ones. For us, this case was about protecting what we love and the tools we employ to further the plant-based movement and we believe uniqueness and creativity are tools that everyone interested in doing the same should use. But we accept the verdict and appreciate that so many of you took the time to discuss the case with us on different social media platforms. We believe that all experiences make us grow as individuals and as a company, and this has certainly been an experience. We hope Glebe Farm feel the same way as we wish them all the best in the future.

4 months ago