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
The virtual flour mill: remote learning ahead of its time
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nabim’s Virtual Mill could have been designed specifically for the “new normal” of social distancing and remote working.  In fact the initial stages of the high-tech CGI system first appeared in 2017, providing a unique online training aid for the next generation of millers – wherever they live in the world. The site currently contains 3D training rooms on purifier, plansifter and roller mill, enabling students to see inside the closed milling process. Visitors may ‘walk' round the mill building from floor to floor while the most recent developemnts have been the construction of a laboratory, a packing area amd a warehouse. At first glance, it seems more akin to a computer game than a bespoke learning environment. Indeed the software used to create the Virtual Mill is based on the same technology that underpins many of the bestsellers on X-Box and Playstation. It was developed by Chris Bullen and his team at Visit, an Essex-based tech company which specialises in creating remote working and learning environments. “We use the same type of software tools for the Virtual Mill that are used in creating the majority of computer games.  However while typical computer games cost millions to develop, the Virtual Mill has been produced on a relatively small budget.  We’ve focused on creating  graphics that are ‘fit for purpose’ in teaching the students, rather than total realism.” Unlike many computer games that need powerful computers, the Virtual Mill runs on any typical PC over a relatively slow speed internet connection, making it ideal for remote areas without reliable online services. “We’ve been doing this type of work for over 10 years with multi-national companies such as BP & Castrol,” Chris says,  “but it’s only in the last couple of years that the technologies – PC graphics, internet, streaming services and so on – have reached the point where it has become financially viable and reliable for broad business use. “We worked with milling experts and made several visits to mills in order to understand the work flow and equipment used in the flour milling process. As a result we were able to produce 3D models of the grounds of a modern flour mill, including a training centre and the main equipment in the various buildings.  “The aim of what we’ve produced is that it will become an integral part of the nabim training offering, providing exercises and challenges where students can learn by exploring to find answers and putting what they have learnt into practice by solving problems in a 3D environment.” The Virtual Mill is just one facet of nabim’s renowned distance learning course, which has enabled hundreds of would-be millers not only to take their first steps into the industry but to progress to senior positions. They include Norbert Cabral, a graduate of the course who currently works as manager of milling at the Canadian International Grains Institute in Winnipeg, as well as mentoring students. “The course has seven modules, which cover the areas that are very important for milling staff in different levels to learn and handle higher positions in the company. I took all seven modules in one year. “When I was a young miller I went through the stage when I thought that I knew everything in milling. But as you mature, and as you gain experience, you realise that there is lots to learn in this industry. And in this industry, learning never ends.” Find out more about how we are using the technologies of virtual mill to support our students who are taking exams this year with online revision sessions, next year's students with a whole session of online tutorials planned, plus training for our milling mentors.  
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Michelle the Miller
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One of the newest recruits to the milling industry says children should be made more aware of milling as a career.  Michelle Tyson-Craddock recently became a trainee miller at Matthews Cotswold Flour, having previously worked as a chef, a trout farm manager, a head gardener, and a plasterer. She was introduced to her latest career by her nephew, who is also a trainee at Matthews. But Michelle believes the next generation of millers should be made aware of the opportunities of the industry at a young age   Talkin to the firm’s Meet The Miller online Q&A, Michelle said: “Children don’t know about traditional trades like milling because modern occupations like computer programming get the limelight. However in milling lots of modern skills are required – we use technology alongside our traditional methods throughout the process from loading, monitoring quality and packaging.  I think more young people should be encouraged to enter the trade because milling is so important for providing food for the country – it is the basis of bread!” Michelle, who started work on her seven-year apprenticeship last September, also thinks more women should be encouraged to join the industry. “Milling is one of the oldest human occupations. It is also one that realistically women have always done but never been acknowledged for.  Women around the world use hand millstones every day to make flour for bread in many countries. In the war, women took over the mills while the men were away, but it is not a career many female workers have taken up since. “I was welcomed at Matthews and I do not feel they see me as a woman but as a Trainee Miller.” Read the full interview  
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