Plenty Foods’ Josh and Jo Gadischke are looking to the future with a multi-million expansion of the company’s production facilities in Kingaroy

November 12, 2021

Australia’s first de-fatted nut flour production facility is set to be built in Kingaroy, creating almost a hundred ongoing permanent jobs in the region.

The $22 million complex, which will incorporate cutting-edge technology, is being supported by a $9.078 million Federal Government grant.

Construction is expected to begin next year.

Plenty Foods managing director Josh Gadischke said the project was basically “shovel-ready” but will be developed across the next three years.

It will handle peanuts, macadamias, almonds and walnuts and will be built next to Plenty Foods’ new oil crushing plant in Cornish Street.

Mr Gadischke said the expansion would not have been able to go ahead without the Federal Government’s support.

Announcing the grant on Friday, Agriculture Minister and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the funding was coming from the multi-year $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI)

The MMI scheme aims to address vulnerabilities in Australia’s supply chain – which became more evident during the pandemic – by increasing sovereign manufacturing capability.

The Kingaroy project was one of seven MMI grants announced across Australia on Friday, and the only one in the Maranoa electorate.

“This funding means Plenty Foods, an already highly successful operation, can undergo a monumental expansion at their facilities so that they can finely process nuts into value-added, Australian protein nut flour,” Minister Littleproud said.

“This is a real milestone in securing the future of the South Burnett.”

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington also congratulated Plenty Foods.

Mrs Frecklington said the project would be of great importance to the South Burnett and would put a new focus on manufacturing in the region.

“It is great to have passionate, positive people such as Josh who believe in the manufacturing industry and who support regional areas.”

Mr Littleproud said the Plenty Foods expansion would increase the value of the South Burnett’s regional economy by more than $83 million.

Member for Maranoa David Littleproud, Plenty Foods’ Josh and Jo Gadischke and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington

Defatted nut flour is a gluten-free flour alternative and is much sought after as a plant-based protein.

The Australian market is presently serviced only by imports.

Most of the fat is removed from the nuts, creating a light textured, fine flour ideal for gluten-free, low-calorie applications.

Commercial bakers and consumers can use it to replace conventional flour without any loss of capability.

Defatted nut flour production perfectly complements Plenty Foods’ existing business, the production of cold-pressed nut oils, as the by-product of the defatting process is … nut oil.

“The new plant will be a ‘zero waste’ project that supports environmental sustainability,” Mr Gadischke said.

Mr Gadischke explains the storage procedures for raw nuts to Mrs Frecklington and Mr Littleproud

Mr Gadischke said the project would be delivered over three years and create 159 construction jobs and 98 stable, ongoing operational jobs.

It would also shore up opportunities for Australian farmers, providing an important “value-add” to the agricultural supply chain, especially tree nuts.

“The creation of Australia’s first nut flour production facility will see the emergence of new Australian products: almond, peanut, macadamia, and walnut flour, improving the responsiveness of the gluten-free industry by shortening the supply chain and potentially, creating new Australian exports,” he said.

He hopes it will also create a “legacy” production capacity for the region that will continue decades into the future.

Plenty Foods – possibly better recognised in the South Burnett by its former name, Proteco Oils – has been producing and refining nut oils for more than 25 years at its plant in William Street.

Production is still under way at the William Street plant but will eventually move to the new facility in Cornish Street, which has been designed as a “flow-through” production line.

Raw nuts will arrive at an intake area at one end of the facility and head through different production streams inside the plant before being despatched as finished product at the other end.

Silos for storing raw product, a large cool room and oil storage tanks are also on site.

The new plant will be built in Cornish Street, Kingaroy, as an extension of the current building (Sketch: Plenty Foods)
Plenty Foods’ new oil crushing plant in Kingaroy … the extension for defatting will be added to the eastern end of this building
The vacant land adjacent to the current building which will house the new facility

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