New Co-op Gold PURE Oat beverages are hitting shelves across Western Canada in Co-op food stores as the result of a partnership with Sonic Milling, a Pacific Ridge (PACRIDGE) company based in Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
The two organizations came together through a joint mission of supplying community-driven, farm-to-table, sustainable food products. Sonic Milling’s first-to-market oat processing technology creates a more sustainable and nutritious beverage.
“It’s our goal to increase access to better quality, more nutritious, sustainable plant-based products,” said Ken Grenier, PACRIDGE Chief Executive Officer. “The strong synergies with FCL resulted in the perfect partnership to pilot our Sonic Milling™ technology; suppling their new Co-op Gold PURE Oat Beverages from sustainable oats to sustainable packaging.”
The PACRIDGE partnership with FCL was led by the mutual goal to increase access to locally grown crops, leaving the smallest environmental footprint. The FCL model is built on local, community driven sustainable product assortments. PACRIDGE delivers Sonic Milling™, energy-efficient state-of-the-art technology to process whole oats, including by-product, with zero waste. Through the PACRIDGE vertically managed seed-to-shelf supply chain, both companies unlocked innovative distribution opportunities: connecting oats through the PACRIDGE True Crops™ app grown on the 20,000-acre Saskatchewan based, Cas-Grain Farms; processed by the energy-efficient Sonic Milling™ technology; packaged in the PACRIDGE-owned facility in Saskatoon; and shipped to FCL retail locations across Western Canada.
“The oats being grown right here in Tisdale, Saskatchewan is a key aspect of the product’s sustainability,” said Katelyn Rawlyk, Store Brands Specialist at FCL. “A shorter distance to transport the raw ingredients to process improves the product’s environmental footprint, and the quality of the oats themselves is second to none.”
The new Co-op Gold PURE Oat Beverages are made from Cas-Gain Farms oats. The farm is family-owned and operated for over 100 years. Cas-Grain Farms is known for their commitment to sustainable agriculture, and responsible land management practices. Through the partnership with the True Crops™ farming community, Cas-Grain Farms will continue to advance their sustainability efforts with the goal of becoming completely regenerative. In addition to increasing regenerative agricultural practices, True Crops™ also supports traceability from Cas-Grain Farms to consumers’ tables. Leveraging the True Crops™ app located on the Co-op Gold PURE Oat Beverage packaging, FCL consumers can trace the oats used in their beverage back to the seed location from Cas-Grain Farms. The PACRIDGE True Crops™️ app provides crop traceability from seed-to-self, while the energy-efficient Sonic Milling™️ technology creates delicious, highly digestible, protein-rich plant-based beverages.
The PACRIDGE Sonic Milling™ technology offers a more sustainable future for processing plant-based beverages. By harnessing the power of clean water and air, Sonic Milling™ creates shockwaves of sonic energy that break apart whole grains, nuts, or seeds with no product waste. The outcome is healthier, highly digestible plant-based beverages with more nutrient-density. The energy-efficient Sonic Milling™ technology helps supply the healthiest, and cleanest labels on retailer shelves.
The shared PACRIDGE and FCL mission to lead with sustainable practices is a commitment across the supply chain. For the first time, with the PACRIDGE-owned Saskatoon facility, the Swedish Ecolean® packaging technology is now available in the Canadian market. Distributed through the FCL Co-op Gold PURE Oat Beverages, packaged in Ecolean® Air Aseptic containers that use 70% less plastic, compared to a plastic bottle. Overall decreasing costs, energy, resources used, and weighing 50% less than conventional liquid food carton packages or bottles.
The Ecolean® difference takes a life-cycle approach assessing impact from raw materials to end-of-life. The packaging/Ecolean® Air Aseptic container is produced by 100% renewable electricity, reduces plastics, decreases water consumption, minimizes food waste during its life cycle, and has a low carbon footprint. Overall, the Ecolean® Air Aseptic packaging is lighter on the plant.
The PACRIDGE-supplied, new Co-op Gold PURE Oat Beverages will be available at Co-op retail locations across Western Canada, with the first shipments planned to arrive July 2023. The product will be sold in original unsweetened, vanilla, and chocolate oat beverage flavors. The offering also includes two creamier oat beverages for coffee in vanilla and original flavors.