New mix creates rise in job growth for local organic grain processor
One of Australia’s leading organic grain processors, Kialla Pure Foods, will cash in on demand for ‘snacking’ food and speciality products while creating up to four new roles in the company.
The company was one of 15 businesses across Queensland to receive up to $250,000 under Queensland Government Rural Economic Development (RED) Grants to develop their business and create new job opportunities.
It is well known for its line of organic grain products including baking flours, specialty flours, premixes and other cereal based products.
Managing Director Quentin Kennedy said the grant would allow Kialla Pure Foods to upgrade factory equipment to stay relevant in the market and continue supporting more than 30 grain producers from the Darling Downs to Central Queensland.
“We source a wide range of organic crops via our networks of certified growers stretching from Central Queensland to the Darling Downs. Approximately 15% of grain is sourced from our own irrigated farm near Theodore in Central Queensland,” he said.
An increase in factory employment will be needed to handle the increase in productivity. Four full time positions will be created at the factory including quality assurance, control operations, administration, product research and development roles.
The funding Kialla Pure Foods received will be used to purchase and install a new grain blending system which incorporates a double helix mixer providing better consistency of mix as well as safety sieves to eliminate the risk of allergen cross contamination between products.
“The current blending system does not have the efficiency, mechanical quality or capacity to allow the business to reach its full potential,” Mr Kennedy said.
“With the new blending system we can improve quality control, reduce costs and increase output capacity. As markets grow, our customers require increased quality control measures, and a higher level of consistency in mixed material.”
The new blending system will allow Kialla Pure Foods to expand their product line. As the organic market matures and seeks more convenience products, Kialla Pure Foods will offer waffle mix, cereal drinks, cake mixes, muffin mixes and protein shakes to cater for the demand.
“These products are ‘on trend’ in the health food industry at present, and provide the consumer with healthy convenient foods,” Mr Kennedy said.
Packing their products to suit consumer demands are one of the additional benefits of the equipment upgrade. The company will package their products into Doy bags, shifting away from the traditional ‘pillow’ pack style.
“Consumer behaviour is shifting towards Doy bag resealable packaging which has a better shelf presence and enables ‘snacking on the go’ convenience,” Mr Kennedy said.
The RED Grant program offers emerging projects up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector. The $10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending 2021.
A total of 15 businesses have received $3.3 million under the first-round of funding for the RED Grant program. Overall these 15 projects are expected to create over 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.
QRIDA offers a range of assistance to primary producers, small business and non-profit organisations. To find out what’s available visit Programs and Services.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.