Work has started on the construction of a brand new, cutting-edge oat processing plant in Northamptonshire.
The plant will be the largest, most modern oat-processing facility in Europe. On completion in 2023, it will be poised to meet and accelerate the already growing demand for oat ingredients in the food and drink industry.
The development is the initiative of ‘Navara Oat Milling’ – ajoint venture between three organisations. All three bring to the party different and complementary ares of expertise, as well as longstanding relationships in their respective supply chains and markets.
Navara is jointly owned by Frontier Agriculture, a crop production and grain marketing company; Camgrain, a farmer-owned cooperative; and Anglia Maltings Holdings (AMH), a food and drink ingredient manufacturer.
The new mill will be located alongside Camgrain’s Advanced Processing Centre in a key arable region between Corby and Kettering. Frontier Agriculture will supply all oats processed at the plant via Camgrain members and its network of farm traders.
Frontier managing director Mark Aitchison,who is also chairman of the new joint venture said the mill would help to satisfy growing demand for oat ingredients in healthy food products and non-dairy drinks.
“Investment by the three strategic partners will help meet that demand. Our collective vision is to build and grow a dedicated oat supply chain, bringing farmer and food manufacturer closer together and delivering improvements that benefit each sector.
“We will work together on realising the huge potential of oats, embracing all that they can deliver in provenance, traceability and sustainability. Navara will create supply chain efficiency and the food and drink industries will benefit.”
The joint venture would invest in growing oats as well as processing, said Mr Aitchison. “Collaboration with farmers supplying the new mill will
see value added in areas such as
agronomy advice, seed variety choice and development, quality and sustainability.”
Camgrain chairman Simon Willis said: “This is great news for our farmer members as it expands opportunities for them with an increasingly sought-after cereal grain and will involve them in projects such as the development of new varieties.”
As well as creating employment opportunities, the new mill will also mean lower food miles – reducing the distance oats need to be transported for milling. This would add value to the crop, suggested AMH group finance director George Thompson.
“We already work with oats in EDME, the natural food ingredients arm of our business, and have long desired to do more with this exceptional cereal. Navara Oat Milling provides the perfect opportunity.”
For more on Camgrain, read our recent profile of their positive results amid a challenging harvest.