Nemoloko is a Russian plant milk brand. Their main product is oat milk, though they have other plant milks available, and recently they also produced a line of plant-based yoghurts. I think it is important to note that Nemoloko was the first Russian brand of plant milk to be found in almost every supermarket, which popularized it and made it more accessible. Generally, Russian brands suffer from a lack of transparency, and Nemoloko measure a little bit better in this regard by providing information about packaging and the production process. Nevertheless, there is still very little information available, which suggests a certain level of dishonesty and a lack of commitment to sustainability goals.
Nemoloko Oat Drink is made from 100% Russian oats. Using locally sourced ingredients is great, since it means lower greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Oats are also one of the least water-intensive ingredient options for plant milks. The drink is packaged in Tetra Pak, which, in theory, can be recycled. In practice, the packaging is difficult to recycle, as it is made from different materials. This complicates the process and requires more energy and special equipment. Moreover, there are no organized recycling programs in Russia, so the packaging will most likely end up in garbage dump. As Nemoloko state on their website, during the transportation process, each 12 drinks are further packaged in a box and plastic film. While it is good that they provide this information, since a lot of companies do not have publicly available information about packaging for transportation, this process generates a lot of waste.
On Nemoloko’s website, there is detailed information about the technical side of the production process of their drinks. However, like most companies, they do not share information about its environmental impact. Transparency on their water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, waste water management and other waste management would be very usefully for consumers who care about the sustainability of their product.
Unfortunately, Nemoloko do not share any information about their labour practices. Their parent company, a Russian drinks brand ‘Sady Pridonya’, also have nothing on the website about their hiring process and the treatment of their workers. This lack of transparency is unsustainable, as more and more people want to support brands who treat their workers well, and by not providing this information Nemoloko might be alienating customers in the near future.
However, I feel its important to note that Nemoloko were the first company to make widely available, relatively cheap plant drinks in Russia. They can be found almost in every supermarket, and are a great local alternative to brands such as Alpro. By making plant drinks more accessible, they definitely contributed to people consuming less dairy products, which generally have a larger negative environmental impact.