End extra charges for plant milk in retailers

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We are campaigning to end extra charges for plant milks in retailers and help the industry develop sustainable solutions which can remove them for good. We can show that brands who are genuine in their purpose here will yield higher loyalty,  relevance and income from their customer base over time. For the individual, there are significant environmental, health, societal and financial benefits. This is the crux of our campaign - to show that whoever you are, ending extra charges is in your interest. For more info, head to our website: www.free4dairyfree.org  and be sure to follow us on Instagram.

Based on current projections, agriculture will account for 52% of global greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2050, with 70% coming from meat and dairy production. Drinking just one glass of dairy milk daily for a year requires the equivalent of 585 miles of driving emissions, 703 showers and 7,000 sq ft of land, more than 10x required for the same amount of oat milk. A 2018 study on global attitudes to climate change showed that 66% of UK residents (68% globally) believe climate change to be a major threat to their way of life and are looking to align with brands which recognise this. Despite these facts, UK milk production has grown by 6.6% (CAGR) over the past decade. A thoughtful but structured reduction is required. Furthermore, we ask government to consider a restructure of current policy, encouraging farmers to consider other forms of harvest, and the introduction of incentives for consumers of plant milk. 

Conversely, between 2016-2020 UK sales of dairy free products rose by a staggering 42% each year (CAGR). Furthermore, the number of Britons using plant-based milks rose to 23% in the three months to February 2019. 16-24 year olds accounted for 33% of this change. Crucially, the plant-based milk market is forecast to more than double by 2025. A new, more socially-conscious generation is emerging,  keen to 'do their bit' to protect their world and improve both their and their fellow human's health. They are more likely to part with their cash if they believe a business is doing their bit too.

This rapid growth shows no sign of slowing, with 77% of the UK population yet to make the switch. By removing extra charges, coffee shops can appeal to this purpose-driven demographic, take market share for existing plant milk users and increase sales as more and more consumers either transition to or enter the market. The later you remove charges, the more likely you are to lose market share and loyalty to savvy competitors.

Current charges are generally inflated above real cost. Furthermore, when a consumer pays for plant milk, the current structure means you are subsidising the production of dairy milk. The global industry standard is to wrap the cost of dairy milk into the retail price of hot drinks. Consider that the cost of an Americano is the same whether it is black or white. There is however, often an extra charge for plant milks but the cost of the dairy milk has not been removed. We ask industry to recognise this fact but more importantly recognise that removing charges can actually improve their business' performance (click here to see a case study about the upside).​

Only 1 UK chain (Pret a Manger) has abolished extra charges for dairy alternatives (go Pret!). The UK has the highest number of branded coffee shops in Europe which means if we are truly to improve health and sustainability whilst removing charges, we need the major chains to see our perspective.

We've also come up with solutions. The F4DF Charter is available to sign for any coffee shop/chain which has abolished its charges. For those that need help becoming free4dairyfree, we have developed the 'F4DF Delivery' concept to help them get access to dairy alternatives at a lower cost.

So, if you believe in a world which takes care of its resources - be they animals or land; if you believe that being charged more for an allergy or a social conscience isn't sustainable; and if you believe that working with industry rather than against is an effective model for change, sign our petition, share our message, visit our site, follow us on Instagram and let's take a step toward that change, together.