EUROPE – The European Flour Millers has appointed Gary Sharkey as its new president for the next two years, according to a World Grain report.

He succeeds Bernard Valluis who served the flour milling association as president for the past three years.

In his new role, Sharkey will be supported by two newly elected vice-presidents: Jan Cordesmeyer and Kristof Dossche.

“European Flour Millers has always used a strong sector expertise base and a large representative as a foundation for its work with the public institutions,” said Valluis.

“Moreover, one important lesson from the industry visits we made around the world is the European milling sector has a well-deserved global reputation for excellence, safety, quality and innovation.

Part of our job, in my view, is to maintain and enhance this position in the coming decades, and our association has a very important role to play in sustaining this reputation.”

Commenting on his appointment, Sharkey said: “There are many challenges ahead of us, such as the competitiveness of our industry through the constant and regular access to sustainable high-quality and safe wheat, rye and oats.

“Improving our competitiveness, while reducing the environmental impact in a context of climate change, will require innovation, but also the ability for European millers to compete with an increasingly acute pressure from third countries.”

The European Flour Miller’ association works to be the voice of the European wheat, rye, and oat milling industry at both the E.U. and international levels.

Currently, the European flour milling association comprises 25 national associations in E.U. member states and five associate member associations.

The EU flour milling industry is the largest single food user of EU domestic wheat, rye and oats.

The industry has 45 million tonnes of soft wheat and rye processed each year, with more than 3,800 companies employing 45,000 people, according to World Grain.