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 the sector facing increasingly acute pressure from third countries like Turkey or Kazakhstan on traditional flour export markets, the low-level of capacity utilisation (around 65%) across the EU and a declining consumption of bread, the European Commission should continue to treat wheat flour as a sensitive product requiring special treatment in trade negotiations.

No further concessions on flour market access

With the European milling sector facing:

  • acute pressure from 3rd countries (Turkey, Kazakhstan) on traditional wheat flour export markets
  • a structural overcapacity (the sector is running in average at 65% of its capacity)
  • a declining consumption of bread in most European countries

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 regions 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.

A competitive & market-oriented agriculture

A Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) remains pivotal for European flour millers in securing constant and regular access to sustainable wheat, rye and oats of the right quality.