Supply considerations for oats
In 2016, tiny Finland was the fifth biggest oat producer globally, with over one million tonnes of oats produced (Source: FAOSTAT). The value vs. cost ratio is appealing for Finnish gluten-free oats. The price is at the same level or even lower than other special gluten-free grains such as millet, buckwheat and tapioca.
While oats have a positive halo based on their health and sustainability credentials as well as having appealing benefits for gluten-free applications, successfully formulating with oats requires more know-how than with your average food ingredients. Therefore, it pays off to choose a supplier who also has a long track record within consumer foods and oat formulations.
With the right supplier, oats are a relatively inexpensive raw material with stable high-volume supply. Choosing a supplier with high production capacity is advantageous, as it means secure supply, shorter lead times and competitive pricing.
It is also highly advisable to choose a supplier who controls and owns the value chain. This means for example that the supplier has own contract farmers. In Finland, farmers dry and store the oats directly in their own silos. This means that the value chain has fewer steps and is highly traceable, which is of utmost importance with gluten-free oats in preventing any cross-contamination.