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Altona's Buffalo Creek Mills Continues To Expand

In January 2022, Buffalo Creek Mills in Altona will be able to heat-treat and further process oat groats in-house to create oat flakes and stabilized oat groats.

Additional products such as steel cut oats, oat flour, and other products are planned for later in 2022 and 2023.

Construction activities on the new project started in early 2021 and a Revtech kiln was installed in September. Currently oat groats, which are used in the human edible, pet food, and feed markets, are further processed for final consumption.

The products the company will produce will be used in a variety of ways, including for use in baking ingredients, breakfast cereal, snack bars, and also as concentrates within oat beverages and other dairy alternatives.

"Oats are proving to be very attractive at the moment and the nutritional benefits, heart health benefits, being gluten-free, there's a couple of new markets with oat beverages, dairy alternatives," said CEO Ryan Penner. "They are all showing signs of improving the market and we seem to be lucky enough to participate in that. We see a pretty bright future for us."

Penner noted that the 2021 oat crop has been a challenge.

"The drought has caused low yields and demand is increasing and supply is not there. The prices are going very high. For those producers that have oats, this is a good time but for those who do not, it's been a very challenging year. We're managing through that very carefully."

Buffalo Creek Mills currently employs over 25 people, with more hiring expected over the coming months.

The company was founded in 2014 and in 2017 entered into a joint venture with Grupo Vida, the largest oat processing company in Mexico. The joint venture allowed Buffalo Creek Mills to continue its growth with an expansion project in 2018 to double processing capacity.

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