From Humble Beginnings
The Wholegrain Milling Co. story starts in my mother’s kitchen, where I grew up amongst sprinklings of soft flour, and that unmistakeable, comforting, wholesome aroma of homemade bread.
It remains a nostalgic journey, as I take my daily tour around the now extensive milling complex, with its over 100 grain silos, seven stone mills, state-of-the-art roller milling, automatic conveyor belts, and the latest technologies, and it's still hard to imagine that it is all here because my mother decided to grind her own flour in her own kitchen.
Mum suffered from chronic illnesses, and became frustrated, continually suffering from allergies associated with food, and with flour in particular. Searching for remedies beyond standard medicine, Mum, not unexpectedly, decided to take matters into her own hands, and started making her own natural organic stoneground wholemeal flour, right there in our kitchen.
Eating our own natural foods, created without added preservatives, or artificial colourings and flavourings, set us on the path that saw us enter the (then) fledgling organics market. Fuelled by my mother’s desire for good health, and her passion for helping others, my parents, Wendy and Harry Neale, started the Wholegrain Milling Co. in 1984, believing wholeheartedly there would be others who could benefit from organic grains.
When the business started, people thought that organics was about having flowers on the side of your Kombi Van. It was a very hard road initially; organics weren’t widely known or understood, and certainly not readily accepted, at that time. There was only a tiny market - we started with one customer on the first day and grew to only seven in the first ten years.
These days, a diet free from artificial chemicals, colourings and flavourings is not unusual, however Mum was way ahead of her time; she was a trailblazer and visionary. I don’t think that even Mum and Dad realised, then, that they were at such a critical juncture – this was literally the dawning of a new era for health and wellbeing, for the environment, and of course for those taste sensations that are the cornerstone of wholesome products. It was my mother’s dream to get to where we are now, and she did all of the hard yards in those early days. Mum had the passion, and I had the drive, so when you put them both together this is where we've ended up.
Organic by Design – in the Modern Era
Organic awareness has really grown since those early days, and there is a growing desire among consumers for food that they can trust. People want to know where their food comes from. Organic food offers a very high standard of product integrity, as well as the use of fewer pesticides, and better animal welfare.
I came back to the family business in 1995, partly because I could see things were going to change, and change they have. The main reasons people choose organics are health, concern for the environment, and better taste. Organics was initially about health, but for us, this is not just about organics and their health benefits, but also about the unique flours they produce.
Dad and I designed and built our own specialised stone mills, using imported European millstones, as well as some of our other specialised, custom-made milling equipment. This enables us to produce our signature flours, unique to Wholegrain Milling Co.
Wholegrain Milling remains a family owned business, specialising in the highest quality products created with our Stone-Ground and Roller Milled 100% Certified Organic Flours, milled from grains that are grown, stored and milled without the use of any chemicals.
Our Sustainable range of flours also have no chemical residue.
We source the best organic grains available, which are obtained from farms throughout the heart of Australia's prime hard grain belt, in order to meet not only our own high standards, but also the rigorous demands of the organic certification organisations ACO (Australian Organics) NASAA (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia), BFA (Biological Farmers Association of Australia), and DEMETER (Bio-Dynamic Research Institute).
In 2007, Wholegrain Milling expanded, by taking on a complementary and exciting business, Demeter Farm Mill. Demeter Farm Mill is a long established supplier of quality Certified Organic products for the food industry. It has enabled Wholegrain to provide customers with a much larger range of smaller packaged Certified Organic products (organic grain, flour, pulses, fruit, porridge and muesli mixes) which complements Wholegrain traditional range of grains and flours.
Sustainable by Demand – into the Future
In collaboration with Australia’s leading authorities on organic and sustainable agriculture, and certified producers, we are proud to announce our range of Certified Sustainably Grown products, which will complement our existing Certified Organic grains and flours.
These genuine, certified sustainable products have been manufactured maintaining the highest level of health and nutritional values, produced through agricultural systems that enhance soil health and biodiversity, with none of the environmental or health depleting side-effects of conventionally grown produce, and are endorsed by our commitment of sustainability and longevity.
Demand for sustainably grown food products is increasing rapidly, and innovations by growers have led to vast improvements in efficiencies for energy, air and water quality and safeguards, waste management practices, as well as social equities.
More and more Australian growers are joining the rapidly expanding numbers of sustainable producers, who strive to ensure environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity well into the future. An exhaustive and reputable audit process has been set in place which can assure our clients of genuine healthful foods, with full certification and security of authenticity. Farmers and scientists are working together to facilitate and expand sustainable production, and continually improve product quality.
Wholegrain Milling offers customised and traceable products, produced through organic, biodynamic and sustainable agricultural practices, and access to a vast network of Australia-wide producers that will ensure year-round product availability.