2015 presented challenges for Fazer Mill & Mixes, most prominently the low quality of the Finnish wheat crop. That said, the business unit did achieve a strong result in oat exports, and the launch of new oat-derived products which allow Fazer to provide its customers with value-added ingredient solutions.
Another success was in securing Fazer’s supply of Finnish rye flour. With rye cultivation in Finland at a relatively low level, this was a significant accomplishment. Thanks to dedicated efforts across the value chain over several years, Fazer was able to secure its domestic rye flour supply until well into 2017.
The way forward in oats
In 2015, Fazer secured a licence to an invention developed and patented by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in partnership with the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). This allows healthy and valuable ingredients to be extracted from oats, including oat beta-glucan, oat protein and oat oil. The new nutrient-rich ingredients can be used in heart-healthy snack bars, biscuits, dairy products, breads and dietary supplements, and as a raw material in the cosmetics industry.
Having increased its export sales of oats, Fazer’s oat mill is now working at full capacity a full year ahead of schedule. As a result, the decision to double the mill’s capacity was made at the end of 2015, which will entail a five million euro investment in the facility.
In the annual audit of its mills’ production process conducted by the American Institute of Baking (AIB) – an internationally recognised third party – Fazer continued to improve its results, reaching the excellent score of 905.
Fazer Mill & Mixes is increasingly oriented towards leveraging the expertise it houses towards innovative ingredient solutions, adding further value for its customers. Heli Arantola, Senior vice President, Strategy & Renewal and responsible for the Fazer Mill & Mixes business, explained: “Oats are a remarkable international success story for our business. We aim to continue our innovation in grains, and further increase the export of pure Finnish oats.”