Ben Furney Flour Mills has been awarded a $1 million grant, which will be used to modernise the business and expand operations.
The grant, from the Federal Government’s Manufacturing Modernisation Fund.
(MMF) was officially announced by Member for Parkes Mark Coulton at the Flour Mill, on Friday, 1st of May.
As the only manufacturer of Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) for resale in Australia & beyond , the grant will be used to purchase and install a state-of-the-art automated processing line incorporating transformative Industry 4.0 technologies to manufacture TVP and bread crumb products.
This will lead to the production of a new range, increasing capacity and allowing Ben Furney Flour Mills to supply new markets both in Australia and overseas – with the potential to replace approx. 500 tonnes per annum of imported product in the expanding plant based proteins market.
Furney’s CEO Sarah Furney says the grant will help support a growing market segment in Australian manufacturing – with the rise and awareness of vegan and vegetarian focussed products. It will also lead to the creation of four new local jobs.
‘This is just another example of a business in Western NSW leading the way, as we strive to innovate and move forward into the future,’ Ms Furney said.
‘Our increased capacity resulting from this grant will help to secure the future of food production not just in Dubbo – but Australia.’
‘In a post COVID-19 world, we feel strongly about Australia producing our own food products, using local ingredients and suppliers. This grant will help us to strengthen local supply chains and reduce reliance on overseas imports.’
Ms Furney believes the economic benefits from the expansion will have a flow on effect for other industries in the Western region.
‘Thanks to this new technology, crumb production will more than double,’ she said.
‘In turn this will result in a doubling of wheat sourced from our local farmers, within a 200km radius of Dubbo. It will also require transport companies to bring it in to the Mill and distribute the end product to our markets.’
Ms Furney says the Remplan model was used to calculate the multiplier effects of the expected increase of 4 FTEs achieved through this project.
‘This shows the demand for intermediate goods and services as a result of the jobs growth would increase by $1.739 million with a corresponding increase in employment of up to 11 jobs in total – as the effect works through the economy.’
‘Our business has and always will be driven by our customers and their needs,’ she said.
‘As the demand for a greater variety and tailor made products increases, we need to adapt our business to meet customers needs. This project will provide more flexibility in our production ability, enhanced product innovation capability and create a more functional product.’
If you would like to learn more about TVP and its many uses, you can read more here