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Milled to perfection


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Back in the days when every village had its own flour mill, the miller was an important and well-known member of the community. Today, the miller can rely on many technical innovations, but his expertise in flour is still of major importance.

Industrial flour producer, the GoodMills Group, may not be a household name but its brands certainly are. In the German market, Aurora, Diamant, Goldpuder and Rosenmehl are the market-leading consumer brands, while Fini’s Feinstes is known throughout Austria.

“We have 25 flour mills in seven European countries, and a position as the first or second-largest producer in each of the markets in which we are present,” says Chairman of the Executive Board Leonhard Gollegger. “Our brands are trusted for their consistently good results by consumers and baking professionals throughout Central and Eastern Europe.”

That this is the case is down entirely to the skills of GoodMills’ millers. “Consistency is vital, particularly in our B2B activities,” notes Mr. Gollegger. “Our millers are highly trained to ensure that the quality of the flour we produce never varies in either direction. In the industrial baking area, production lines are set up to operate according to a specific set of variables so that any variations in flour quality would require these to be reset.”

Equally, GoodMills’ millers are experts in selecting the grains and monitoring gluten and starch content to produce flour that is suited to the product being baked. “In Europe, the most commonly used type of flour is wheat flour,” observes Mr. Gollegger. “In the German consumer market, for example, average flour consumption is 7 kg per household, while in the Czech Republic it is as high as 25 kg per person.”

Our brands are trusted for their consistently good results by consumers and baking professionals throughout Central and Eastern Europe Leonhard GolleggerChairman of the Executive Board

In the consumer market too, wheat flour dominates, but even this category encompasses a broad range of products. “We have traditional bread and cake flour, as well as wholemeal flour and durum wheat flour for pasta in our consumer portfolio,” says Mr. Gollegger. “For a while now, ancient grains such as spelt have been in fashion, and we now sell these alongside flour made from other grains such as rye. On the one side, self-made baking has regained its value, but on the other side consumers are also in the process of changing their dietary requirements. That is, why for example alternative sources of protein such as pulses and beans have become more important again. Also here, GoodMills is well positioned with its dried pulses and beans quality brand Müller’s Mühle. Although there are many interesting developments in the B2C business, industrial milling remains the core of GoodMills Group and the source of our expertise.”

Perfection in milling is the undisputable fundament of the company’s business, but innovation helps to drive the industry. “With our subsidiary, GoodMills Innovation, we are acknowledged as one of the world’s leading innovators in the area of grain-based ingredients that are both highly functional technologically or in terms of health.”

As an example, GoodMills Innovation has developed 2ab wheat – a rediscovered ancient variety of wheat that is perfect for sensitive wheat eaters as well as lovers of authentic foods: “Our 2ab Wheat can be enjoyed by everyone. It only contains ancient gluten (as opposed to modern gluten, which triggers troublesome symptoms in sensitive people) and is lower in FODMAPs than regular bread wheat and spelt. It’s time to indulge again – with bread made with love and 2ab Wheat, the tummy friendly ancient wheat,” comments Mr. Gollegger about current innovations in the product portfolio.

GoodMills has been a player in the flour market since the 1970s. Its parent company, the Raiffeisen Group in Austria, was already involved in grain trading and wanted to be closer to the grain producers. Since then, the Group’s flour milling activities have expanded to encompass Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Austria.

The company processes 2.9 million t of grain each year and generates turnover of 830 million EUR (2018). It employs a total workforce of 1,600 employees. “One of the biggest challenges for us is finding qualified millers,” says Mr. Gollegger. “There simply isn’t sufficient training available for young people interested in this skill, which is why we take on our own trainees. In this way we can also ensure that they have been educated in the multitude of factors that affect the final product and that must be adjusted for maintaining a consistent quality.”