Welcome to nabim
The association representing UK flour millers, virtually 100% of the industry

The flour milling industry plays a vital role in the UK. With a £1.25 billion turnover, the industry strengthens the economy and supports Britain's farmers by using predominantly homegrown wheat.  Flour milled in the UK also supplies Britain’s food and supports the nation’s health and wellbeing.  Bread was the most popular item purchased in 2018/19 with Kantar data showing that 99.8% of households buy it; and, among other things, flour provides 37% of the fibre, 35% of the calcium and 31% of the iron in our diet.

Find out more about the work, commitment and skills within the UK flour milling industry that provides quality, nutritious and safe products.

Latest news
COVID-19: how the nabim is supporting the flour milling industry to meet the challenges
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UK millers continue to work round the clock to meet the unprecedented demand for flour, which is so central to the food chain and vital to the health of the nation.  Each of the individuals working in the industry plays a critical part in keeping the nation fed, so it was great to see this recognised in a letter from DEFRA Secretary of State, George Eustice.  We are all in awe of the work done by NHS staff, but those providing the nation’s food and other vital services are also doing work that is so important to our health and wellbeing. In these circumstances, nabim’s role is to support its members and ensure vital supplies to our customers and ultimately everyone in the UK are maintained.  We have set up an early warning system, which enables members to flag emerging problems before they become critical. This provides vital time for the problem to be addressed both from the industry’s own resources and, where necessary, with the support of government or other parts of the food chain. In this regard it, is great that following representation from nabim and others, the Government decided to relax working time rules slightly to help ensure that deliveries can be maintained round the clock, and recognised the key role of food workers by permitting them, where necessary, to have access to childcare and education support through the crisis. The nabim team also participates in several groups bringing together government and industry experts which highlight both problems and their solutions, and provide opportunities for exchanging ideas to keep goods flowing smoothly through the food supply chain.  Many of these groups had already been set up to address matters arising from Brexit, meaning that a collegiate style was already established, which has helped in moving things forward quickly. The grain supply and delivery sector, including nabim members, has agreed small changes in working practice that will help the flow of goods and accompanying documentation whilst respecting social distancing and the difficulty of distributing documentation whilst so many administrative staff are working from home. The government has allowed extra time for some tests to be undertaken and wherever possible auditing is being conducted remotely. New challenges arise all the time, but flour milling businesses and nabim are determined to address them promptly, in partnership with colleagues in the supply chain and in government, to keep the nation fed.   
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Silvery Tweed appoint new sales manager.
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Chris Green, a former senior national account manager with Santa Maria UK, brings nearly 20 years’ experience in the foodservice industry to the Berwick-based company, and takes over from Andy Smith.  “The opportunity to work with such a professional and respected company is fantastic,” Chris says. “I’m in the process of learning all about Silvery Tweed products and can’t wait to help our clients best meet their needs.” Having starting out with SIF Iceland Seafood and Coca Cola, Chris has held a number of regional and national account manager positions. Prior to joining Silvery Tweed, he spent eight years with Santa Maria UK as senior national account manager. Mark Jackson, sales director at Silvery Tweed,  says, “We thank Andy Smith for all he has done for Silvery Tweed, and wish him well in his new role.  “We are excited to have Chris in the team he has considerable experience in the food industry and brings with him great energy and drive. We know that both our existing customers and those who move over to Silvery Tweed products will enjoy working with him and know that their needs are being well looked after.” A leading supplier to the UK breakfast cereal, bread and bakery markets, Silvery Tweed employs more than 90 people, cleaning and processing grain from growers mostly based in the Borders area. The company manufactures a variety of cereal products, ranging from flour, cereal flakes, grain and seed blends, to bespoke products such as puffed grains and granola clusters supplied to many of the UK’s top cereal and bakery brands.
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Retail flour shortages
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The following is a statement from ALEX WAUGH, director general of the National Association of British & Irish Millers (nabim) – the trade association for UK flour millers – regarding the current shortages of flour in supermarkets and shops. The UK is self-sufficient in flour, producing about 90,000 tonnes every week.  Yet many people are experiencing shortages in supermarkets and shops.   To understand why this should be the case, it may be useful to offer an overview of how the industry operates on a typical, day-to-day basis. Most UK flour is produced in bulk and delivered either in tankers or in 16kg or 25kg bags to bakeries and other food manufacturers. Only a small proportion – around 4% of the total flour milled is sold through shops and supermarkets. Ordinarily consumers purchase about 3,000 tonnes of flour a week in the shops – equivalent to two million 1.5kg bags.  On average, each of the 27.5 million households in the UK buys a bag of flour every 14 weeks.   However since the COVID-19 outbreak, and in response to the subsequent lock-down, both regular bulk buyers and consumers have been purchasing much more than normal. Inevitably, existing stocks have been quickly used up and many households have been unable to buy.  In response, UK millers have been working round the clock – genuinely milling flour 24-hours-day-seven-days-a-week to double the production of retail flour in an effort to meet demand. The equivalent of 3.5million to 4 million bags have been produced weekly by running packing lines at maximum capacity.  However, production is limited by the capacity to pack small bags, so even this is only sufficient for 15% of households to buy a bag of flour per week. Supplies of commercial flour are typically delivered either in larger bags or tankers and are therefore not subject to the same limitations. One option is for retailers and wholesalers to stock larger bags of flour, which might be suited to more regular home-bakers. This would require a change in shopping patterns, however. Otherwise, it will be a question of time before the surge in demand reduces enough for this enhanced level of production to meet requirements and allow stock levels to be rebuilt.
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