• By Lynda Kiernan

CBH Group Acquires Blue Lake Milling; Commences Regional Oat Strategy

Western Australia’s main grain handler, CBH Group, has made its initial move toward a regional oats strategy with the acquisition of Australian producer of oat products, Blue Lake Milling.

The acquisition brings with it mills in South Australia and Victoria, giving the group a sizeable regional presence and an opportunity for CBH to gain entry into South East Asia’s oat market.

"Clearly we've been very involved in wheat and we've made the step into the malting industry with our new maltings in Vietnam,” states CBH chief executive, Dr. Andy Crane, “and so oats was the next cab off the rank."

Blue Lake has two plants in Dimboola and Bordertown, producing 90,000 tons of oats per year and 60,000 tons of finished products including instant oats, quick oats, pre mixes, and muesli which it distributes under some of the best known brands to major supermarkets.

The acquisition will provide CBH growers with additional crop options, expanded markets, and the ability to rotate crops for better yields and crop health.

Commenting on how CBH’s farmer-members can benefit from such an expansion, Dr. Crane says, "Job one is run a low cost supply chain to market, job two generate rebates from sensible allied investments and three, if we can help keep some of the key crops that grow well in Western Australia accessing premium markets, then that's something else that a grower co-operative can do for its members."

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Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@highquestgroup.com.

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