Agricultural cooperative Lantmännen is investing SEK 125 million ($14 million approx.) in its oat processing capabilities at its mill in Kimstad in the southeast of Sweden.
The investment includes new equipment for heat treating dehusked oat kernels, as well as expanding the facility’s capacity for receiving, storing and cleaning oats. Production of heat-treated oats is expected to start in March 2022.
Lantmännen says that oats are a ‘strategically important’ crop for the Swedish cooperative and that demand for oat-based products is on the rise. Sweden is said to have very good growing conditions for oats, producing crops of ‘very high quality’.
“This investment is important for Swedish agriculture and for the food industry in Sweden,” said Magnus Kagevik, group COO and head of the Lantmännen energy sector.
“The investment will reinforce Lantmännen’s unique position within the oats value chain– all the way from plant breeding and type development to high-quality ingredients and products for both businesses and consumers on both the Nordic and international markets.”
Lantmännen said that the investment will “pave the way” for new innovations and commercial products based on oats.
“We envisage great potential in continuing to develop the market for breakfast products,” said Karolina Valdemarsson, MD of Lantmännen Cerealia Sweden, which makes products including flour, flour mixes, grains, granola, crisp bread, pasta and pancakes.
“There are numerous interesting new segments and product areas that are rapidly being developed, such as those linked to the greater focus on health and wellness among consumers and increasing interest in plant-based foods.
“This investment will enable us to expand our total capacity. The initiative will also pave the way for new innovations and commercial products within our different sales channels.”
Lantmännen acquired the oats business in Kimstad from Tate & Lyle in 2019, in order to expand its oats refining capacity. This latest investment is said to be in line with the plan developed ahead of the acquisition.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019