Mill-ion dollar move for Warwick business

GROWING FAMILY: Matthew Wainwright and father Stephen are continuing to nurture the family-owned stockfeed business Nutramix with high- tech new mills in Warwick and Narrabri.
GROWING FAMILY: Matthew Wainwright and father Stephen are continuing to nurture the family-owned stockfeed business Nutramix with high- tech new mills in Warwick and Narrabri. Sophie Lester

A MULTI-MILLION dollar investment will see one Warwick business expand in the industrial estate.

Nutramix Stockfeeds was started in the Rose City by father and son Stephen and Matthew Wainwright.

The cattle farmers from Rosevale - on the other side of Cunningham's Gap - built their first mill for the business at Warwick's industrial estate in 2001.

Nearly 20 years later the pair are growing their business with state-of-the-art processing equipment set to be installed in a new mill.

As managing director of the business, Matthew said it was exciting to bring the latest technology used abroad to grow their production capacity back home.

"Dad and I sat down about six years ago and realised we'd outgrown both mills,” Mr Wainwright said.

"We were about three weeks behind in Warwick and five weeks behind at our mill in Narrabri and it was getting to be very stressful.

"We realised whatever we would do we would have to upgrade because the mill had served its purpose.”

Mr Wainwright said he chose to explore the newest technology abroad to bolster product consistency at Nutramix.

After myriad trips overseas to secure the best technology, he said the business was set to more than double its production across its two mills.

"We decided to look to focus on automation and improving quality and capacity, and knew we wanted the newest technology in the world to help us do that,” he said.

"We started out with looking at upgrading the mill at Narrabri but it was well worth the cost to do it at both.

"The processing is all automated by computers and with that comes quality assurance because we can see what's gone into every batch on the screen.

"We've gone from being able to process four tonnes of grain per hour to 20 tonnes per hour at Narrabri, and when we install the new mill at Warwick in about six weeks' time we'll go from processing 3.5 tonnes per hour to eight tonnes per hour in a fully automated mill.

"We're actually likely to hire about eight more staff members over both sites due to the expansion in production.”

Mr Wainwright said when he and his father started the business, Warwick was selected as the best site due to its prime position at the crossroads of major highways.

In 2006, the Narrabri Nutramix mill was built and the business now boasts customers in every state and territory save for Tasmania.

"When we first started the business, dad was still working long hours running his own small trucking company as well as our cattle property,” Mr Wainwright said.

"I had been working for other stock feed companies and I had to make the decision whether to come back to the farm or go out on our own.

"Thankfully dad saw it as a good opportunity to break away from what he was doing, but it was his farm on the line if we failed, which meant I saw success as the only option.

"I was only 24 at the time and dad and I lived together for the first few years we had the business, while the rest of the family stayed at Rosevale.”

"He's always been so hard working and its something he's instilled in me and my siblings.”

Now is the busiest time of the year for Nutramix, as the dry winter increases livestock producers reliance on feed and pellets.

While the infrastructure is getting an upgrade, Mr Wainwright said he too was ready to take a next step in his role.

"My background is in animal nutrition and I've always loved talking to people about their needs,” he said.

"I would love get back to that side o the job, spending more time with the people.

"People need stockfeed the most when it's dry and so many of our customers would have a lot of stress on them, but you wouldn't know it.

"They're just the most lovely, down to earth people you could meet.”

Topics:  agriculture livestock warwick community warwick developments

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