Decision Maker Response
Aug 5, 2021 — 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.