Europe's biggest oat processing facility being built near Kettering

It will create 60 jobs once complete

By Sam Wildman
Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:51 am
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:52 am
A drawing of the plan.
A drawing of the plan.

Work to build Europe's largest oat processing facility has started at a site near Kettering in a scheme which will create 60 jobs once complete.

The cutting-edge modern mill is being constructed alongside Camgrain's advanced processing centre just off the A43 at Newton, after plans were revealed earlier this year.

On completion in 2023, it will be poised to meet and accelerate the already growing demand for oat ingredients in the food and drink industry.

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The Camgrain site near Kettering

The development is the initiative of ‘Navara Oat Milling’, a new joint venture between three organisations - Navara, jointly owned by Frontier Agriculture, a crop production and grain marketing company, Camgrain, a farmer-owned cooperative, and Anglia Maltings Holdings (AMH), a food and drink ingredient manufacturer.

The site of the new mill ensures the minimising of food miles with the region's transport links providing good access not only to oat growers but also to key food and drink manufacturers who use cereal-based ingredients.

Frontier Agriculture will supply all oats processed at the plant via growers in the surrounding region, Camgrain farmer members and its network of farm traders.

Construction of the plant will provide 60 jobs once complete as well as 60 during the building works.

Mark Aitchison, managing director of Frontier and chairman of the new joint venture, said: “There’s increasing demand for oat ingredients in healthy food products and non-dairy drinks. The investment by the three strategic partners will help meet that demand. Our collective vision is to build and grow a dedicated oat supply chain, bringing farmer and food manufacturer closer together and delivering improvements that benefit each sector and the environment.

“We will work together on realising the huge potential of oats, embracing all that they can deliver in provenance, traceability and sustainability. Navara will create supply chain efficiency and the food and drink industries will benefit from the investments we’ll make not just in processing but also in growing oats. Collaboration with farmers supplying the new mill will see value added in areas such as agronomy advice, seed variety choice and development, quality and sustainability.”

Simon Willis, chief executive of Camgrain, added: “The new joint venture, Navara Oat Milling, will see the new plant built alongside our existing Camgrain advanced processing centre in Northants. This is great news for our farmer members as it expands opportunities for them with an increasingly sought-after cereal grain and will involve them in projects such as the development of new varieties. It’s good to be bringing advanced technology to the UK food supply chain, adding value not just to farmers, but also to the local community. We are grateful to the North Northants Council for their support for this flagship project, which will bring forward new employment opportunities and reduce food miles.”