A new online map, which will direct bakers to stores where flour is available, is now available.
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic and subsequent bulk purchases, flour has been one of the things that is missing from most supermarket shelves.
But now there is an easy way to find both sought after ingredient, thanks to a new interactive flour map from the UK flour mill trade association – the National Association of British and Irish Millers (nabim).
The association has worked with retailers to create a national “retail flour network” that offers consumers bags over 3 kg, which are usually supplied to suppliers and commercial companies.
The resulting flour map means that people can now search for local bakeries, wholesalers and supermarkets, where larger bags are available for the general public to buy.
Why there are no smaller bags of flour in stores
Since the coronavirus blockade, the scarcity of bags weighing less than 1.5 kg to 3 kg on supermarket shelves has led to fears about the supply of flour nationally.
However, Nabim says the problem is due to the sudden increase in demand for smaller bags and that the supply of commercial flour has not been affected.
General director Alex Waugh says: “The problem with home-made flour is that normally the market share is small – just 4%, compared to the commercial sector.
“It’s okay to grind enough flour, but the sudden increase in demand has led to problems in being able to physically pack household bags small enough for distribution in supermarkets and grocery stores.
“The retail packaging lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and overall production doubled last month.”
Since the outbreak, nabim has created an early warning system that allows its members to signal emerging problems before they become critical.
This provides vital time for issues to be addressed both by the sector’s own resources and, when necessary, with the support of the government or other parts of the food chain.
“The message for consumers is that flour is plentiful and there is now a convenient way to find places that sell bigger bags,” says Waugh.
“On the positive side, it is good to see so many people rediscovering the joys of baking at home! I hope this will continue as soon as the current coronavirus situation is resolved. “
How to find flour near you
The map can be accessed on here. and retailers and other companies that would like to be included in the network, or would like more details, should contact nabim at firstname.lastname@example.org