Farmers Mill is the first independent grower-owned and operated flour producer in the country to receive funding from the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT), for the specific development of nutrition focussed flour and baking products.
Farmers Mill, which has partnered with Lincoln University and the Food Innovation Network, will receive support from Agmardt aimed at exploring market opportunities and encouraging innovative ideas within the agribusiness sector.
The grant will assist with in-market development of a nutritional product range using specific grain and flour based products. The project is expected to deliver flours and pre-mixes which have a low score on the glycaemic index (GI). It is well established that low GI foods can keep blood sugar levels steady and even help metabolise fat more efficiently.
The programme represents an investment by Farmers Mill of over $200,000 in the coming 12 months with total development costs expected to exceed $300,000.
Charles Brennan, Professor of Food Science at Lincoln University, says the research to be conducted at Lincoln utilises the University’s knowledge in food innovation and human nutrition.
“This pioneering project will demonstrate how we can utilise science to help trim the waistlines of New Zealanders," he says.
CEO of Farmers Mill, Grant Bunting, says the investment is consistent with the Mill’s philosophy and commitment to New Zealand grown grain and uniquely customised, flour based products.
“We are excited to be working in partnership with Lincoln University to analyse what refinements and improvements can be made to our milled grain to produce a healthy, great tasting product range. We are not prepared to comprise on quality and we are keen to ensure these innovative developments keep Farmers Mill products at the forefront of the industry for many years to come,” he says.
The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation’s dietitian, Sarah Hanrahan, said the Farmers Mill project is a commendable development in light of current trends and consumer needs.
“Grains and grain based foods are important in the diet of most New Zealanders so we definitely welcome any advances to improve the healthfulness of this valued food group in our everyday diet,” she said.
Earlier this year Farmers Mill launched a range of flour based products and premixes and announced the company’s strategic relationship with French multinational yeast supplier, Lesaffre.
ABOUT FARMERS MILL
Farmers Mill Limited is a manufacturer and marketer of flour and speciality grains grown in the South Island and milled in Timaru. Owned by 12 South Island farmers, Farmers Mill is the only independent grower-owned and operated flour producer in the country, enabling manufacturers to pass on the promise to customers of being New Zealand made. The mill uses advanced equipment to manufacture the best flour in a highly competitive market.
Since 1987 Agmardt has provided over $60m of funding that has encouraged innovative ideas, fostered research capability and developed emerging leaders in the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors of New Zealand. Each year, AGMARDT invests around $2.7million into
developing capacity and capability within the agribusiness sector. It is an independent, not-for-profit organisation with a proven track record of making targeted investments that aim to make a positive contribution to the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors.
THE FOOD INNOVATION NETWORK
The Food Innovation Network was established to aid firms in the Food and Beverage industry to grow and export. The Network assists through linking firms to the skills they need to successfully complete their growth plans. The skills can come internally from within the Network or more commonly by knowing where to find them amongst Government and Regional Agencies, Research & Development Providers and Industry Suppliers.
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Professor of Food Science
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