New technologies for future, innovative products
19 November 20145 min reading
Anell; “I’m quite sure the Swedish position of high quality and safe products can stand out also in a European comparison. In order to strengthen the position is to be more effective, invest in new technology but also be innovative in new products, for example gluten free which is emerging as a major national trend.”
This month’s guest is John ANELL who is the General Secretary of Swedish Flour Milling Association. ANELL who answered our questions regarding Swedish Flour Milling Association and Swedish Milling Sector, stated that the milling capacity in the country is approximately 900.000 tons and the capacity is being used around 70%. ANELL who emphasized that large mills provide wide range of products to the market, believes that if Sweden wants to be more effective in the milling in the future they should invest in new technologies as well as concentrate on innovative production such as gluten-free foods. Here we have the details from John ANELL.
Mr. Anell, firstly could you please give information about your association? How many members do you have and what are your activities as an association in the industry?
The Swedish Flour Milling Association consists of ten members. The Association is a trade association for flourmills in Sweden, representing the industry in questions concerning public authorities and decision making. The Swedish Flour Milling Association promotes consumption of flour products and highlights the high quality products to the consumers. The association also works closely to the Swedish Food Federation to promote the food industry as such.
Could you please give some information on the Swedish flour milling industry? What can you say about the number of the mills, milling capacities, technology usage level, manufactured product groups?
At the moment the milling capacity is around 900 000 tones and the utilization of capacity are around 70%. Most of the major mills are part of the Swedish Flour Milling Association and are delivering to a wide range of product groups, in example cereals, bread and bakery.
How is the approach of the milling companies towards the new technologies? Is there any increase in the recent milling and technology investments?
The approach to new technologies is positive but new investments are of course dependent of a lot of different factors. The last couple of years, a few mills have made investments in new technology and a few are making plans for investments in the future.
Do all of the mills in Sweden realize their production completely for the domestic consumption? Are there any export activities of the mills in your country? If there are, which countries are the export targets and what is the amount of the these exports?
Sweden is without comparison the main market for the mills, but there are some export to most importantly the Scandinavian countries and Germany. The milling industry is a local market and even though flour as such is not exported there are a lot of products made from Swedish produce which are successes on the export market, for example pepparkakor, crisp-rolls, biscuits and crispbread.
What is the level of raw material in your country? How much of the raw material processed in the mills is produced in your country, and how much of it imported? Which countries do you prefer for the imports?
Winter wheat is the most common grain in Sweden, followed by barley, oats and rye. Sweden has a surplus of common wheat, mainly winter wheat but also of rye. Sweden imports in general durum wheat and small amount of Canadian spring wheat.
Could you please give some information on the flour consumption amount and consumption culture of Sweden? For instance; for which food products the flour is used and how is it consumed? What are the preferences of your consumers in bakery product consumption?
A general swede consume approx. 9,5 kg flour/ year. The bread consumption has been decreasing the last five years but bread is still one of the main food products where flour is consumed. When the national market is decreasing the companies has to find new markets which has led to an increase of exports to for example sweat bread Denmark and Germany.
What do you think about the future development of your country in terms of both the improvement of the milling industry and consumption amounts and preferences of your country? What are your future expectations about your industry?
Sweden has a good geographical position when it comes to long term conditions for producing food, a lot of water, high quality products which are safe for the consumers. This makes me positive to the future preferences and the expectations are confident. We can see a trend that the milling industry is consolidating which I suppose to an even more competitive business opportunity for the milling industry.
What do you think about your position when you compare your country with other European countries in terms of milling? What do you aim in order to strengthen the position of your industry throughout the world in the future?
I’m quite sure the Swedish position of high quality and safe products can stand out also in a European comparison. In order to strengthen the position is to be more effective, invest in new technology but also be innovative in new products, for example gluten free which is emerging as a major national trend.
As especially an association, do you have any projects for your industry that are being realized right now or will be realized in the coming years?
The association is co-founding a project named “the Bread Institute” which aim to promote bread and pastry products. It is important to have an arena where you can take the debate against for example LCHF-promoters. It is also a long term commitment to get the swedes to eat more bread and consume more flour.
Finally, what would you like to add about your association and the flour milling industry in your country?
The Swedish Flour Milling Association celebrates its hundred birthday in 2014 and we are already looking forward to celebrate the next hundred!
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