Ngapara’s historic flour mill has slipped into disuse.
The 1896 structure once processed wheat grown in the local paddocks, but the industry has changed to the point where it is no longer viable, Milligans Food Group Ltd managing director Bruce Paton says.
The company retains ownership of the mill, and still uses the site for its animal nutrition products. That operated on a seasonal basis, Mr Paton said.
It was now “not economic” to mill flour there, he said. There was not much milling wheat grown in the vicinity these days, and what was grown tended not to be suitable for Milligans’ bakery production.
Wheat had become a global commodity, Mr Paton said. Milling had been “disappearing” in New Zealand over the past 30 years.
“New Zealand’s climate is not conducive to milling flour.”
Milligans imported much of its flour from Australia.
The old Ngapara flour mill was being kept intact. Should it ever be needed again, “it can be restarted any time”, Mr Paton said.