Food plants thrive in Washdyke

JACQUIE WEBBY
Last updated 05:00 07/03/2014
grant bunting

ARTISAN FLOUR: Farmers Mill national sales manager Mat Kets, left, with Nathalie Zanet, Lesaffre sales and marketing manager, and Farmers Mill chief executive Grant Bunting.

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Two Timaru food production companies, one producing salmon and the second providing flour and baking supplies, are thriving at their new Washdyke locations.

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon opened its multi-million dollar processing plant at Washdyke in November.

General manager Janine Tulloch said the plant was still in the commissioning stage, but things were tracking as planned.

"Staff numbers have lifted at the Washdyke plant from 17 to a peak of 20 people for a short time, and fish previously processed in Christchurch at Sonter Seafoods are now being done at Washdyke."

The company expects to process about 700 tonnes of salmon at the new plant in its first full year.

It operates three farm sites - on the Upper Waitaki hydro canals and on Lake Ruataniwha - and exports more than 80 per cent of its product to the United States.

Washdyke's second success story is the Farmers Mill, which is providing bakers throughout the country with customised, fully traceable flour and baking supplies. The company's strategic relationship with French multinational yeast supplier Lesaffre has enabled Farmers Mill to extend its prefix range to include Lesaffre products.

Farmers Mill chief executive Grant Bunting said flour produced was traceable from the paddocks of South Canterbury to consumers' plates.

"We produce an excellent range of mainstream flours and are proud of our ability to uniquely customise our flour to suit large, industrial volumes," he said.

Since its opening in June, the Farmers Mill has added a variety of products, including gluten-free and low salt mixes, to its range.

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- The Timaru Herald

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