Market access and the competitiveness of the European milling sector
In Europe, a sector of small and medium-sized companies
The European flour milling industry has always been producing on a relatively small scale compared to its counterparts, notably in the US. For ex., the average US flour mill produces 13 times as much wheat flour as the average flour mill in Europe.
With structural economic constraints
The European milling sector is facing:
- acute pressure from 3rd countries (Turkey, Kazakhstan) on traditional wheat flour export markets
- a structural overcapacity, as the sector is running in average at 65% of its capacity
- a declining consumption of bread in most European countries
Flour should be excluded from market access negotiations
We believe that the European Commission must guard against flour trade concessions that imply fundamental and irreversible damage to both the European milling sector and the rural areas in which they operate.
In particular, the EU market must not be further opened to wheat flour from 3rd countries supporting their milling sector with direct or indirect trade-distorting subsidies.