Secure regular access to raw materials in the right quality and quantity
Good knowledge of markets for wheat, rye and oat (production, stocks and outlets) and their respective qualities is vital for the flour millers. Due to unpredictable climate conditions and increasing price volatility, millers and farmers must be provided with coherent market tools to manage risks and also protect plant health, whether for food or feed purposes.
The largest single food user of domestic wheat, rye and oat
With some 48 million tonnes processed each year, the European flour millers are the largest single food users of domestic wheat, rye and oats. Whilst it is possible to make flour from many different types of grain, wheat is easily the most widely used. This is because of the unique properties of wheat flour which allow the production of bread and other flour-based products.
Milling is a continuous process that needs regular access to raw materials
Milling is a continuous process and flour mills are operating 24 hours a day. Therefore, flour millers need to secure a regular access to their raw materials in both quantity and quality. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) sets the framework within which EU wheat producers operate and indirectly impacts the flour milling sector.
EU support in stimulating innovation & research to tackle climate change consequences
Supplying European consumers with quality staple food from constant supply of local and sustainable agricultural raw materials is one key challenge for the European millers. EU support in stimulating innovation & research is fundamental, for example to find sustainable alternatives to avoid EU’s farmers reliance on agrochemicals and their residues to enter the food chain.
EU should provide clarity on modern breeding techniques urgently
The European flour millers acknowledge growing consumer concerns about agrochemicals' use in the agricultural raw materials we source and is working with farmers to reduce such use to the extent possible. The most effective way to reduce EU farmer’s reliance on pesticides is to provide much needed clarity on modern breeding techniques.
The recent ECJ ruling on mutagenesis makes increasingly clear that the EU’s GMO Directive is no longer fit for purpose. In the absence of clarity on modern plant breeding techniques, EU farmers and millers will continue to need access to existing authorised pesticides, where sustainable alternatives do not yet exist.