Saskatchewan-based Avena Foods Limited has announced it will be starting construction on a $20 million oat processing plant at Rowatt, Sask., this spring.

The company says the facility will double Avena’s processing capacity for its “start safe, stay safe” gluten-free oat program, and is slated to open in 2021.

“This expansion builds on the achievements of the pedigreed seed farmers who founded Avena,” says Gord Flaten, CEO of Avena Foods, in a news release. “We look forward to the benefits it will provide our customers, local farmers, and staff. We would like to thank the Government of Saskatchewan and the Rural Municipality of Sherwood for their support as we begin this new chapter.”

Once up and running, the plant will add more than 30 jobs to the local economy, says Flaten.

Avena has processing plants in three locations: a pulse facility at Rowatt, another oat mill in Regina, and a food ingredient processing facility in Portage la Prairie, Man.

Avena was founded in 2008 by a group of pedigreed seed growers committed to growing gluten-free oats for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

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