Last week, Homestead Organics shipped out its first test batches of grain from its Morrisburg location.
The Berwick based businesses last December bought a Morrisburg facility to expand its operations.
Operations at the Morrisburg site have started at the Allison Avenue building where they are currently focused on organic grain cleaning for human consumption, especially soyabeans.
Homestead Organics buys grain from farmers in the region and puts it through a five stage cleaning process. The cleaned grain is bagged and shipped to customers which include La Soyarie, which manufactures tofu sold in Eastern Ontario and Quebec. “We ship them 20 tonnes in bags every three weeks,” said Homestead Organics owner Tom Manley, who with his son Yannick, plant engineer, showed The Leader through the operational plant and described the process.
Their cleaned grains are also shipped to leading U.S. and Canadian suppliers including Vita Soy, weekly, and So Nice which is another of Homestead Organics’ main customers. Other grains including rye, wheat and corn are also cleaned and shipped to food processors, such as flour mills.
Getting the facility operational for grain cleaning involved some renovations, which took a little longer than anticipated, but the Manleys are happy to have started commissioning and testing.
Part of the renovation was the replacement of existing liquid storage tanks with new grain bins capable of holding 45 tonnes, with the larger bin having a 100 tonne capacity. “These bins are for short term processing needs, not storage,” said Tom.
Up until now, the testing has been done with produce from last year’s harvest, and they are looking forward to the new crops which should be coming in next week.
Homestead Organics currently has 2-3 people working at the Morrisburg location daily. For now, the rest of the business, which encompasses feed manufacturing and administration and sales, remains in Berwick.
Tom explains that the second phase of the move will take place when financially feasible. He suggests that the rest of the move may even be able to take place this coming year.
Homestead Organics currently has a total of 14 employees, and is growing with new growth opportunities.
Homestead Organics also has a future plan for a factory outlet at the Morrisburg site for consumer traffic.