Defra’s consultation on the technical revision of the Bread and Flour Regulations (BFR) closed on November 23. In our response, UK Flour Millers outlined our position on key aspects.
We agree with the proposal to align the BFRs minimum level of nutrients added to flour with the EU retained legislation to add minimum 15 percent to have a ‘significant amount’. Given UK-sourced calcium carbonate is no longer available, we support the removal of the calcium carbonate criteria and replacement with the purity criteria as per EU retained legislation – this means that we will need to continue to import all calcium carbonate from Europe.
We did not comment on the proposed amount of folic acid that should be added to flour, but believe that the suggested 24 months implementation period should suffice for millers to start using the ‘new’ pre-mix, with added folic acid. It is however necessary to address the transition period for labelling purposes.
Finally, we are of the opinion that both suggested exemptions, i.e., to exempt small mills from fortification requirements and to exempt products with a flour content less than 10% go against the spirit of the Regulations, which, ultimately, enforces a public health policy. We also think that the latter could add an unnecessary level of complexity and increase the number of SKUs and cost to industry in terms of storage and logistics.
A summary of the responses is expected to be published, by government, around mid-February 2023.