Glanbia to tap into gluten-free market with new oat mill

Glanbia is set to tap into the lucrative gluten free market following the opening of a new state-of-the- art oats processing facility in Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

The ‘oats only’ processing plant is the first such facility to be built in Ireland in recent years and has significant capacity for export to US and European consumer food markets.

The facility, which operates to the highest international food safety standards, (Grade A *BRC accreditation) was developed following the establishment of Glanbia’s exclusive partnership with the US based Sturm Foods, for the McCann’s Irish Oatmeal brand. This brand is positioned at the premium end of the US Oatmeal market and has been on sale in the US for over 150 years.

This exclusive partnership enabled Glanbia to expand its existing milling facilities in Portlaoise and build this innovative stand-alone, food-grade oats mill on the same site.

The premium quality oats grown by Irish growers, are also exported under the Glanbia Nutritionals, OatPure™ (gluten-free) brand in Europe. This new innovative plant is also unique in being able to process oat ingredients to guarantee a certified gluten-free product.

Glanbia Agribusiness operates an Oatsecure closed loop supply chain process, which has gained NSF Certification which produces functional and nutritional oats that are guaranteed gluten-free. This rigorously validated process offers an exceptionally high level of protection, and operates to the highest international food safety standards. The market for gluten-free is growing fast – in the UK alone, the total gluten-free market is worth £180 million and this is growing at a strong rate of 37%, driven largely by the non-gluten intolerant shopper.

The Portlaoise development is also an endorsement of the premium quality oats grown by the Glanbia grain growers and represents an exciting opportunity for the participating oats growers in Leinster. The oats are examined at all growth stages to optimise rotation, minimise the risk of cross-contamination and ensure the highest quality of pure oats for harvest.

“As the largest purchaser of native Irish grain this investment reflects our ongoing commitment to the grain sector and builds on the significant investment we have made in both Portlaoise, Co. Laois and Clonroche, Co. Wexford Mills in recent years,“ said Colm Eustace, CEO of Glanbia Agribusiness.

“This development would not be possible without the co-operation of our growers. With our specialist agronomists and R&D team, we look forward to continuing to work closely with our growers to achieve the quality and innovation required to meet discerning consumer needs. “We are delighted to have been selected by Glanbia Nutritional Ingredients Technologies (GNIT) to mill the recently launched OatPure™ gluten-free oats – which is independently certified to max 10ppm gluten and will go to market in November,” Mr Eustace added.