What the association does
Research & development
The flour milling industry has a long history of investment in R&D both through individual companies and on a collective basis. The industry established its own research association in the 1920s, which after a series of mergers is now part of Campden BRI, the leading UK food research association.
What research does the UK milling industry sponsor, fund and participate in?
The industry continues to sponsor research in a wide range of areas, including the development of new wheat varieties, improving wheat quality and functionality for end use, techniques for maintaining product safety, hygiene and testing, and methods for process control.
The UK Flour Millers Horizon Scanning Group has an overall research strategy for the flour milling industry and oversees all R&D work commissioned by the Association or in which the industry has a direct interest in.
UK Flour Millers recognises that partnerships, collaboration and knowledge sharing are key to translating research and innovation into genuine benefits for the industry. To support this we host an annual event that bring together leading researchers to discuss current projects that relate to processing, nutrition and wheat development. The event is aimed at all staff in member companies with an interest in research and technical developments. Members and Associate Members of UK Flour Millers can access presentations from the previous
Gold medal research
The UK Flour Millers offers top students, once they have completed the flour milling training, the opportunity to submit a thesis and be considered for a gold medal.
Crop Improvement Research and Technology Club
UK Flour Millers is a member of the BBSRC CIRC along with the 13 other organisations from within the chain. This club aims to support innovative research projects within academia that address generic, pre-competitive research challenges faced by club members.
The current industry contributions from these members over 5 years will amount to £560k, together with the 9:1 contribution from the BBSRC and an additional £500k promised by the Scottish Government, this gives a total funding pot of £7.06M. A steering group consisting of 15 representatives guides the work of the club.
Further information can be found on the CIRC Website.
Diet and Health Open Invitation Research Club
UK Flour Millers is a member of the newly launched Diet & Health Open Innovation Research Club (OIRC); the programme, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), follows on from the success of the Diet & Health Research Industry Club (DRINC). The programme offers a platform for academia and industry to meet, discuss common areas of interest and ultimately work together on research projects.
BBSRC will invest up to £11 million over five years to deliver solutions to diet and health challenges in the UK.
The first phase of investment will provide up to £9.68 million to support five Innovation Hubs in strategically relevant areas of BBSRC’s diet and health remit:
understanding the interplay between food components and human physiology
improving health and nutrition through biofortification
biological, social, and psychological determinants of food choice and eating behaviour
development of functional foods and beverages
understanding how food and beverages deliver improved nutrition across the life-course.
The previous model (DRINC) relied on businesses to contribute through subscription fees, the new OIRC model companies can contribute through cash or in-kind contributions on a project by project basis in any relevant hub.
UKFM secretariat will be part of the panel involved in the Assessment process of the research projects and is likely to be involved in some of the submitted projects.
Further information can be found on the BBSRC-OIRC webpage.
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Science and Technology in Agriculture
UK Flour Millers is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Science and Technology in Agriculture (APPGSTA), a group formed in March 2008 to provide a forum for Parliamentarians and other interested parties to debate and highlight the value of science and technology in agriculture. More information regarding the group, including meeting dates and minutes of past meetings, can be accessed on the website.
Ergot Working Group
UK Flour Millers chairs the Ergot Working Group, which brings together stakeholders from across the arable chain as well as researchers to identify and develop research proposals and other solutions to tackle the fungal disease ergot.