Oats have been growing in importance as a cereal grain crop for a couple of decades now. Once mainly used just for porridge, muesli, and biscuit products, oats are now a vital ingredient in many plant-based foods and drinks. Indeed, oat milk is an increasingly popular alternative to dairy milk.
Oats’ importance as a food can be seen in the formation of Navara Oat Milling Ltd, a coming together of three organisations. They are building Europe’s largest oat mill in Northamptonshire, with local knowledge and expertise provided by Turners Process Equipment.
The Navara mill is being built in a key arable region to reduce food miles, alongside an existing processing centre.
It will have a supply of separate processing lines to clean, sort, hull, and kiln. The oats will be cut into groats, flaked, or made into oatmeal. The by-products will then go into a pelleting line, to be compacted and processed further.
The vision is to bring farmers and food manufacturers closer together with a dedicated supply chain that focuses on provenance and sustainability.
Turners is working closely with the teams, providing the local knowledge and support for Schule Mülenbau and Amandus Kahl, both long-term partners of ours. We’ve been looking after Schule’s sales, spare parts, and products for the UK and Northern Ireland since 2007.
As their British partner/agent, we are providing advice on UK health and safety regulations. Every country has its own take on health and safety, and we make sure that Schule understands all of the UK regulations and the red tape surrounding their implementation, as we go through the design, building, and equipping process.
This means weekly site visits, submitting weekly progress reports, carrying out local site management, and engineering support.
Our contracts throughout the UK mean we can find parts, staff, and local contractors for the build. The build has created 60 jobs and running the mill will create 60 more.
The civils and foundations for the mill are now complete, and we have started on the steelwork. The milling equipment is scheduled for installation in September and the project should be completed by November 2023.
The mill may be huge, but the site is hidden within the landscape and trees. Navara Milling is also planting 6,500 more trees and shrubs.