What the association does
Maintaining supplies of wheat
UK Flour Millers is dedicated to securing the continuity of quality wheat supplies at the right price. As well as a structured programme of activity the association is involved in ongoing and regular engagement with stakeholders and other influencers. Our work in this area encompasses developing new wheat varieties and taking a lead role in developing and growing the most suitable wheats.
UK millers use predominantly homegrown wheat, yet an understanding of the fluctuating and dependent forces of the global wheat harvest is important when securing supplies. UK Flour Millers produce and share regular and timely briefing notes on the market which are designed to help inform both customers and suppliers.
Developing wheat varieties
UK Flour Millers, along with all parties along the cereals supply chain, are active in a continual programme to develop new varieties of wheat. Varieties might be adapted to increase yield, or produce a greater extraction rate or which have higher nutritional properties. This is mostly achieved through the work of Variety Working Group (VWG) . The group tests the quality characteristics of wheat varieties that are entered into National List and Recommended List trials (see 'Wheat Varieties' for more information on these lists). This involves milling samples of wheat and testing the flour, dough and eventually the bread.
The group is comprised of representation from six milling companies (all UK Flour Millers members) and an associate member company involved in cereals and baking research.
The group is charged with testing potential wheat varieties using a range of milling and baking systems from which a thorough assessment of each candidate can be made. The suitability of candidates is scrutinised ahead of classification recommendations being made (see our Wheat page for more information on UKFM Groups, or download a copy of our latest Wheat Guide).
The work also gives growers confidence that a variety joining the RL will find a milling market.
Milling wheat promotion
A sustainable and profitable domestic cereal farming sector is needed to help the UK milling industry maintain steady flour supplies. UK Flour Millers follows a programme of engagement to communicate industry requirements to key parties to ensure that milling wheat with the right qualities are available in the right quantities. This includes an annual publication The Wheat Guide which provides an assessment on wheat varieties; as well taking a lead role in the programme for the AHDB Milling Wheat Conference and attendance of various arable farming events.
If you are arranging a farming event and wish to include a miller speaker, please contact Joe Brennan.
To honour our commitment to maintaining homegrown milling wheat supplies we sponsor a prize in the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) Wheat Quality Competition, run by ADAS and ourselves. This recognises farmers who achieve high yields and excellent milling quality in the same wheat crop. The long-term aim of our sponsorship and the competition is to increasing milling wheat yield without sacrificing grain quality.
The winner of the 2023 YEN competition is Norfolk-based farmer, Chris Eglington. Read more about his win.