WA Govt grants $5M to Milne Feeds, $3M to Unigrain

Liz Wells, August 21, 2023

Milne Feeds has received $5M from a WA Government grant. Photo: Milne Feeds

THE Western Australian Government has awarded $3 million to Unigrain to expand its oat-processing facility at Wagin, and $5M to Milne Feeds for expansion at its site at Welshpool.

Made available through the WA Government’s Investment Attraction Fund, the grants total $148M and were awarded to 40 projects in total.

Milne Feeds is part of WA’s Milne Agrigroup, and is one of WA’s largest stockfeed manufacturers.

The WA Government’s Invest & Trade website said the $5M will go towards expanding Milne Feeds’ fibre and compound ruminant feed mill in Welshpool, and Milne Feeds is yet to issue a statement.

Based in Victoria, Unigrain was founded in the 1970s, and in a statement released earlier this month,  said the $3M will go towards a $10M expansion at its Wagin facility tilted at capturing the growing Asian demand for oat milk.

The Wagin expansion will enable the mill to process up to 175,000 tonnes of WA oats per year,  and produce 30,000t per annum of oat flour to produce the primary input used in the manufacture of oat milk.

Unigrain’s overall investment in oat flour capacity will support at full capacity the production of more than 300 million litres of oat milk across its customer base, and will represent the single largest oat-flour production site in the Asia Pacific region.

“Consumers across Asia are increasingly looking to non-dairy milk based options, and demand for oat milk continues to grow rapidly as the preferred drink of choice in the market,” Unigrain co-CEO Fiona May said.

“We are dedicated to supporting the growth of our customers in the region as they in turn look to underpin their production with high quality, sustainably grown Australian oat product.”

Construction of the expanded facility at Wagin is set to commence shortly with all works expected to be completed by mid-2024.

Unigrain is expanding its oat-processing capacity to meet rising demand for oat milk. Photo: Unigrain

Unigrain co-CEO Andrew May said the investment at Wagin highlights Unigrain’s continued commitment to value-added food processing in regional WA.

“We are proud to be investing in job growth and increased economic value in the Wagin community, along with the growing opportunity for our loyal and dedicated oat growers across the Wheatbelt,” Mr May said.

Unigrain last year announced plans to build an oat-milk facility at its cereal and pulse-ingredient production site at Smeaton, north of Ballarat.

Unigrain was formed in the 1970s through the merging of Bill May’s WD Seeds, and Costa Group’s Southern Cross Grain, and expanded into WA in 2014 with its purchase of Morton Seed and Grain at Wagin.

Unigrain is still jointly owned by the May family, including Bill’s children Andrew and Fiona, and the Costa family.


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