Flour Imported from Estonia is being used for the first time by British Food Producers
1. Flour imported from Estonia is being used for the first time by British food producers. “A group of entrepreneurs spotted an opportunity to undercut the rocketing price of British wheat,” reports The Grocer (15 January 2011).
2. Estonia Flour Supply, set up 6 months ago, said that it was supplying milling wheat on a trial basis to 16 manufacturers in the UK, two of which are “big” household names, under an exclusive 5-year contract with Estonia’s Tartu Mill.
3. The deal marked the first time Estonian flour had been imported into the UK. “Buyers had been impressed by its quality and placed it on a par with that of flour milled from Canadian wheat, the industry’s usual preference,” MD of EFS, Rob Mullen, said.
4. Wheat imported from Estonia “offered big advantages for manufacturers, particularly in terms of supply chain and pricing,” said Rob Mullen. “If you buy from Canada you have to consider farmers’ agents, shippers and storage. We ship directly into Immingham and deliver direct to customer silos,” he said.
5. The British food industry gets 80% of its milling wheat domestically but prices have rocketed over the past year as farmers have switched their attentions to more consistent "steady earners" in the staples market. The February 2011 price of a tonne of British milling wheat is set to be £231-up £100 on February 2010.
6. Bob Mullen says: “I annot yet say whether we are cheaper than British or Canadian wheat, but with world wheat shortages and price rises, manufacturers want to have the option of knocking on the door of another supplier,” he states.