MSM Milling

How a canola crushing business grew from a farmshed to become a major exporter to Asia and the 2009 NSW Exporter of the Year.

Australian-owned regional agrifood processor

In 20 years, MSM Milling has grown from a small canola seed crushing operation on a family farm to a global business, employing 40 people in a $17 million processing and packaging plant.

It is the only Australian-owned oilseed processor, with its oil used in popular biscuits, snack bars, cereal, dried fruit and KFC chicken.

MSM Milling canola oil processing and production plantAwarded the NSW Exporter of the Year in 2012, MSM Milling now has customers in 15 countries, supplying non-genetically modified canola oil to supermarkets in China, Korea and the Philippines, and the Australian food service industry.

Establishment and growth

MSM Milling began in 1991 in Cudal, NSW, and grew steadily until 2005, when it formed a joint venture with the Manildra Group of companies.

They built a fully-integrated seed crushing and oil refining plant in Manildra, allowing MSM Milling to supply canola oil in bulk to Australia and Asia. In 2011, a modern packaging facility was built on the site which allowed MSM to enter the food service market, which requires oil in smaller containers for restaurants, cafés and fast food outlets.

MSM Milling can now package oil in 20 litre drums or square plastic containers for local wholesalers, or fill special shipping containers with up to 200 tonnes of edible oil.

Factors for success

MSM Milling was quick to recognise a key industry trend: greater use of high-stability vegetable oils as a healthy and sustainable alternative to imported palm oil. The company's range of refined, bleached and deodorised soft oils now includes sunflower, cottonseed and corn oil, and high-oleic oil blends suitable for frying.

"There's increasing demand for the healthy premium-performance frying oil from many of Australia's leading fast food chains and food manufacturers," group general manager Charles Aldersey said. Carefully managing the supply chain is another key to the company's success.

"We can provide great customer service because we control the whole supply chain, from the paddocks through processing, packaging and distribution, direct to our end users," Mr Aldersey said.

"We pride ourselves on being responsive to our customers' needs. And because we're in the same time zone as Asia, we can deal with export orders the same day they're received."

MSM Milling regularly visits its international customers and hosts customers and overseas journalists to showcase its Manildra production facilities and Australia's clean, green growing environment.

Assisted by the NSW Government

The department has worked closely with MSM Milling for the past decade, connecting the company with export market opportunities, making introductions to potential partners and advising on the best international trade shows to promote its product. The company has also benefited from several successful funding applications.

"We believe NSW is the perfect base from which to continue to grow our business, by looking for new ways to add value to our products and by understanding our customers' changing needs," Mr Aldersey said.

Download the MSM Milling case study

Publication date: December 2013