2015 Northern Inland Innovation Awards
The 8th Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Innovation Awards was held at the Glen Innes Services Club on Friday the 20th of November.
Congratulations to the overall winner of the 'Innovation of the Year' Lively Linseed Products from Mullaley.
It was such a great night. The level of the entries this year was particularly high, with every entry being a quality story, and it is important that through these awards our 'quiet achievers' are being recognised.
Our division, 'Manufacturing and Engineering' was hotly contested, and the award for the category was won jointly by Teys Australia Tamworth and Irritek of Moree, with Wholegrain Milling coming in as runner up. We were very proud to have reached this level, and that our hard work has been recognised.
Gluten: A Gut Feeling
ABC TV's Catalyst programme presented a very interesting story about gluten - 'Gluten: A Gut Feeling', where the subject of the gluten-free phenomena was discussed by Doctors and other professionals. Craig was honoured to have been interviewed by the Catalyst team, to give his perspective on the subject as both a farmer and flour producer.
The story presented a great opportunity for us to discuss the benefits of stone ground milling, and the fact that flours that are produced during stone milling are extremely healthful, as the integrity of the grain is maintained.
Nothing Plain About Grain
The thought of becoming gluten intolerant (either legitimately or because it’s on trend) sends shivers down my spine. Giving up the delicious chewiness of a fresh sourdough, the delightful crumble of a shortcrust pastry or a delicate, light and fluffy sponge is hard for me to fathom. Flour is the backbone of so many great foods so I’m ashamed to admit that I had never given its source of origin a thought.
I couldn’t wheat to meet with Craig Neale from Wholegrain Milling- one of only three organic grain mills in Australia.
Wholegrain Milling at the Sydney Tradeshow 2015
The Sydney Tradeshow was a huge success, and we are very thankful to have met so many new people at our beautiful stand!
Taking flour from the family table to the factory
They only had seven customers in the first ten years, but around 2002 there was a change in people's diet and customers started to ask for organic products at their supermarkets and cafes.
"Now we're achieving 20 per cent growth per annum which is quite amazing."
Organic grain shortage throws Australian industry into crisis as it struggles to meet increasing demand
Increasing demand for organic grain, in addition to a poor growing season, has resulted in flour millers having to source flour from overseas.
Organic grain is that which is grown without synthetic fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides.
Craig Neale, owner of one of the largest organic flour mills, said the departure of the Balranyld growers "was quite catastrophic" for the industry, when combined with other seasonal issues.
Mr Neale's mother established Wholegrain Milling at Gunnedah in the 1970s, which now supplies organic flour to bakeries around the country.
A slice of life
Farm, mill, baker, breakfast - it's life on the breadline.
Somehow, you expect a flour mill to be big and noisy. The milling room at the Wholegrain Milling Company is neither. The room is only seven metres by six metres, the noise level loud but far from deafening, even with a line of five stone mills spinning away. There's a small drift of flour near the packing machine, but otherwise it's cleaner and less dusty than you might expect.
The domestic milling industry grinds through about 2 million tonnes of wheat flour a year. Much of that is processed by giants such as Manildra and Weston Milling, but there are small, specialist mills at work too. Wholegrain Milling, in Gunnedah, is one of them.