Oat milk processing is set to join dairy as one of Southland’s key industries.
Great South’s work over the past 10 years has led to the development of what will be New Zealand’s first carbon neutral plant-based beverage factory, with oat milk the first product off the production line.
The factory, to be built in Makarewa, will kickstart a new industry for New Zealand.
Great South chairman Ian Collier said Great South had been working on the potential of oats as a product for some time, with a view to supporting the diversification of the Southland economy.
“We are very excited about the potential that this project represents for investors, potential suppliers and ultimately a rapidly growing domestic and international customer base.”
Southland’s soil, land and temperate climate create the perfect conditions for growing oats, with the highest yield per hectare in the world.
“But until now, New Zealand oats have been sent overseas for processing,” Mr Collier said.
A new company, New Zealand Functional Foods, has been set up to take charge of the value-add initiative, and has received investment from Sir Stephen Tindall’s investment company K1W1.
The company is currently negotiating with potential investors.
Photo credit: Adrian Russell, Plant Research NZ