ConAgra expands Oakland flour mill
by Eric Schroeder
OAKLAND, CALIF. — ConAgra Mills hosted a celebration at its mill in Oakland on June 6 after the facility recently underwent $21.7 million in operational and sustainable upgrades.
Originally built as a grain storage elevator in 1927 and converted to a flour mill in 1965, the 100,000-square-foot Oakland facility was upgraded to double its original daily flour production, to 1.4 million lbs. The facility mills both white and whole wheat flours.
Other plant improvements include wireless mobile technology, featuring an automated, programmable logic controller, and sustainability upgrades such as LED lighting throughout the plant.
ConAgra also unveiled a new polybag packer at the plant, a feature that replaces the standard three-ply paper packaging. The company said it’s a first of its kind in the U.S. flour milling industry — a recyclable and more durable shipping bag.
“This is the first mill in the country to fully convert to a polybag system, helping us to maintain top quality, reduce waste and improve our customers’ experiences,” said Jim Otwell, national sales manager for ConAgra Mills.
The Oakland mill’s flour is distributed locally throughout the Bay Area, Stockton, Fresno, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo and to artisan bakers in Sonoma.
“The Oakland mill has served the Bay Area for nearly a half century, and the recent upgrades will allow it to continue to serve the community for years to come,” said Mike Veal, vice-president of marketing for ConAgra Mills.