Prime Minister John Key cut the ribbon at the Farmers Mill official opening in Timaru this afternoon.

Farmers Mill, New Zealand’s only independent grower-owned and operated flour producer, celebrated its launch with an official opening ceremony attended by shareholders, staff, the local community and special guests who came together to support a new player in the fiercely competitive flour industry.

Chairman Murray Turley said that traceability from ‘paddock to plate’ has a greater significance in these times of increased awareness of food safety and security.

“We are committed to delivering our customers the best quality flour in New Zealand from 100 per cent New Zealand grown grain. What Farmers Mill can offer with its grower relationships is unequalled.

“Over the last few decades the control of New Zealand’s flour milling industry has moved offshore and at times has taken the supply of grain offshore as well. “As arable farmers we are continually looking for ways to ensure the sustainability of our industry - the obvious step was to reinvigorate the strong tradition of flour production in South Canterbury. “Farmers Mill is the result of 12 arable farmers, from South Canterbury, teaming up to mill their own grain to create a 100 per cent New Zealand made product that we can all be proud of. “We have harnessed our own resources to secure the industry’s future investing more than $10 million to get Farmers Mill up and running,” said Mr Turley.

We have built the factory from ground up in less than 10 months said Chief Executive Grant Bunting. “We couldn’t have done it with out the help and support of so many people sitting here today. It is a great example of our commitment and determination to deliver to our customers only the best, New Zealand grown and milled, quality grain,” he said.