Farmers have fought back against a plant-based drink manufacturer after it claimed the dairy and meat industries emit more Co2 than transport.
Swedish oat milk firm Oatly caused a stir over the weekend after it tweeted its controversial 'Help Dad' advert to its 13,000 followers.
“The dairy and meat industries emit more CO2e than all the world’s planes, trains, cars, boats etc combined.
"Need help talking to dad about milk? Go to oatly.com/helpdad," the company said on 16 January.
The dairy and meat industries emit more CO2e than all the world’s planes, trains, cars, boats etc., combined. Need help talking to dad about milk? Go to https://t.co/vqDLHniySQ pic.twitter.com/4HspwIu1ME— OatlyUK (@OatlyUK) January 16, 2021
Farmers and industry groups were quick to respond to the tweet, with the NFU saying it 'did not recognise' Oatly's claim.
"The UK figures for emissions from UK agriculture are 10% compared to UK transport at 27% (data from Defra).
"We don’t recognise your statistics," the union said.
The UK figures for emissions from UK agriculture are 10% compared to UK transport at 27% (data from Defra). We don’t recognise your statistics. pic.twitter.com/8CkRhoSDYZ— National Farmers' Union (@NFUtweets) January 18, 2021
Joe Stanley, a livestock producer from Leicestershire, said the advertisement amounted to 'misinformation'.
“As a farmer who actually grows oats and no longer milks dairy cows, this misinformation is shocking," he said on Twitter.
“Transport accounts for 27 per cent of UK emissions; all sheep and cattle account for 3.7 per cent. How do you justify your assertion?”
As a farmer who actually grows oats & no longer milks dairy cows, this misinformation is shocking.— Joe Stanley (@JoeWStanley) January 17, 2021
Transport accounts for 27% UK emissions; all sheep & cattle account for 3.7%
How do you justify your assertion?@ASA_UK pic.twitter.com/2N692pthRM
Some social media users called on the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to review the advert.
Reported to @ASA_UK for false advertising.— Jimbo (@Culturalmistake) January 17, 2021
Livestock = 5.8% of total GHGe.
Aviation (1.9%), road transport (11.9%), shipping (1.7%), Rail (0.4%) = 15.9%
@ASA_UK I think this advert needs a closer look. Not sure there are too many facts in it. @AHDB_BeefLamb @AHDB_Dairy @NFUtweets @RedTractorFood @TheFarmingForum @FarmersOfTheUK @FarmingUK @FarmersWeekly— Frank Nixey (@Franknixey) January 16, 2021
Oxfordshire arable and oat farmer Frank Nixey said, in a letter to Oatly, that it should 'not knock down the competition with lies'.
"I do not believe it is a them against us situation as there is enough room in the market place for all sorts of ’milk’ if people so choose.
"My problem is with the spreading of lies and untruths about the meat and dairy industry.
"Surely you are better to put across and explain how good your product is, not to knock down the competition with lies.
"To say that the meat and dairy industry emits more CO2 than the worlds planes, trains, cars, boats etc, is wildly inaccurate, not true and not very helpful.
"Yes, livestock does emit CO2, but this is all part of the carbon cycle and balances itself out."
Complaints can be submitted to the ASA using its online form.