Raisio's oat production is ready to respond to the growth in international demand
Raisio Group is proceeding in terms of the building of its international oat business activities. Investments of some eight million euros, which were made in the oat mill located in Nokia, Finland, will facilitate the export of Finnish oat products and manufacturing of value-added products.
The key goal for Raisio’s strategy is to increase its oat business to form another strong international pillar alongside its Benecol business.
‘Thanks to the investments, our oat mill is now in top working condition. We increased the mill capacity and our ability to manufacture different oat products to meet the growing demand in Finland and Europe. The oat boom is just beginning in Europe now, so the growth perspectives are quite interesting’, states Pekka Kuusniemi, President and CEO of Raisio Plc.
Added value from gluten-free and oat fibre products
As a result of the long-term development of Raisio’s production, the company will have the capability to, among other things, produce gluten-free oat products at its mill in Nokia from the beginning of 2020. Oats are a naturally gluten-free grain, but in normal production conditions, small amounts of other grains are mixed in. Several different purification phases are involved in the production of gluten-free oat products as a means of ensuring that other grains are removed from among the oats. The products are run through several phases of analysis to ensure that they are completely gluten-free.
‘We have invested in the production of our gluten-free oat products so that we can accelerate the export of quality Finnish foods in a competitive manner. The first Elovena Gluten-free products manufactured at the mill in Nokia will appear in shops around the end of January or beginning of February 2020’, Pekka Kuusniemi explains.
Furthermore, Raisio’s oat mill can now also produce oat fibre products with a high beta-glucan content. Beta-glucan is an oat fibre that helps to reduce cholesterol and prevent fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
Significant investments in plant-based foods
In addition to developing its oat mill, Raisio is currently building a production facility to manufacture plant-based added-value products. The cost estimate of the facility is approximately EUR 45 million and it is scheduled to be completed in 2021. The investments in production development support one another, since the oat mill can now provide ingredients that are needed by the new production facility rising in Raisio’s industrial area.
‘While our short-term growth expectations are focused, in particular, on the export of oat products to industrial customers, our overall strategic goal is to further build our Elovena brand in a way that will draw greater interest from international consumers’, states Kuusniemi.