Some of our sustainability principles: providing a sustainable response to global challenges
European flour millers are the largest single food user of EU domestic wheat and rye. It is crucial for the long-term health and prosperity of the industry that farming systems are sustainable and that biodiversity loss is prevented. In each Member State, flour millers work to understand & influence the systems used to grow milling wheat, rye and oat.
Supply chain efficiencies
The EU flour milling industry was a pioneer in developing & adopting more efficient strategies for transporting raw grain and milled grain products. Wheat is shipped in bulk from the production areas to the mills, where it is milled, and the flour is distributed to bakeries. Most flour is shipped by bulk tanker trucks that are loaded and unloaded pneumatically with air, with no packaging materials that must be disposed of or recycled. This has been a major improvement in manufacturing and transportation efficiency and this trend is expected to continue.
In this traditionally low-margin industry, sustainability is necessary for survival. The EU flour milling industry has continuously improved the efficiency of the milling process. All of the agricultural raw material (wheat, rye and oat) is processed into edible products such as flour, bran or wheatfeed that is consumed by humans or livestock. Therefore, there is no significant waste stream to be transported or for disposal.
Power input per unit of product has steadily declined as more efficient motors and lighting fixtures are used. Staffing levels within mills have also decreased due to the adoption of more reliable equipment, electronic control systems and IT.
Reduced usage of chemical fumigants
Mills are food manufacturing facilities and therefore hygiene is a top priority. Consumers demand, and EU food law requires, the highest levels of hygiene in our mills. The EU milling industry no longer uses fumigation with methyl bromide to control insects & mites and has replaced it with careful monitoring and alternative non-chemical methods to maintain food safety. This assists in meeting the twin goals of reducing agrochemical use & maintaining the highest level of food hygiene.