Prime Minister John Key opens new facility for independent local Co-op – Farmers Mill

Locally produced flour, up to 28,000 metric tonnes of it a year, will be on the menu for New Zealand families with the opening today of a new flour processing mill in the South Island city of Timaru.

Locally owned Farmers Mill, the country’s only independent grower-owned and operated flour producer, has invested $10 million in the facility which will serve some of New Zealand’s leading baked goods producers such as Griffin’s Foods Limited and Coupland’s Bakeries. Farmers Mill Chairman Murray Turley says the new processing plant will put more of Canterbury’s famous grains into some of New Zealand’s favourite foods and offer a high-quality local substitute for imported flours and grains.

“Farmer’s Mill flour will be traceable from paddock to plate – we know exactly where it is from and how it reflects the growing skills of some of Canterbury’s finest arable farmers to deliver the highest quality wheats and other grains New Zealand can produce,” Mr Turley says. The mill, to be officially opened by Prime Minister John Key at 2:30pm, is a positive step that looks to continue the strong tradition of flour production in New Zealand and sustain the arable farming sector long-term, says Farmers Mill Chief Executive Grant Bunting.

“With our state-of-the-art flour mill, we are able to produce higher quality flour, tailored specifically to our customers needs - a significant development for the sector,” he says.

This also gives the home-grown mill a clear advantage in supplying local customers who now have the reassurance their products are made with 100% Kiwi grown grains. The official opening of Farmers Mill marks a milestone for flour production in New Zealand. “In a competitive market it is increasingly important for manufacturers to be transparent about the traceability of their product - this is where our farmer-owned mill offers a unique point of difference,” Mr Bunting says.

For foundation customer Griffin’s, Farmers Mill, with a capacity of 28,000 MT per year, could produce enough flour to bake 7 billion Chocolate Chippie biscuits - that’s one each for every person on earth. Guests from the community and around the country will celebrate the launch of the home-grown investment this afternoon.