CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND — Gary Sharkey was elected president of UK Flour Millers, the trade association for the UK flour milling industry, during the organization’s annual meeting this week in Cambridge. Sharkey, who is procurement director for Hovis, is a veteran of the grain business and a former president of the European Flour Millers Association. 

“I am delighted to take on the role of leading an industry that plays a crucial part in the UK’s food supply,” Sharkey said. “Flour is the source of about 20% of the energy in our diet. It is often described as a carbohydrate food, but it also supplies 20% of dietary protein, a third of our fiber and around 30% of calcium, iron and crucial B vitamins along with smaller proportion of other essential nutrients. The industry that delivers this, and the chain of which it is part, is a critical part of our food infrastructure.”

Sharkey also paid tribute to his predecessor Roger Butler, chair of Whitworth Brothers, who led the industry for three years through the difficulties of Brexit, COVID, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine

“Roger did a tremendous job, making sure that our industry’s voice was heard through these tumultuous events,” Sharkey said. “I look forward to carrying on this work as we face into continuing volatility on energy and commodity markets, a much higher cost base and the long-term sustainability challenge.”

Sharkey was president of the European Flour Millers Association in 2019 and 2020.

UK Flour Millers also will soon have a new chief executive. On June 1, Alistair Gale will replace Alex Waugh, who has led the organization (formerly known as nabim) for more than two decades. Gale currently works at the Port of London Authority (PLA), where he is director of corporate affairs and strategy. Prior to the PLA, Gale worked for Blue Circle Industries PLC/Lafarge, Cement UK, the UK’s largest cement manufacturer. 

UK Flour Millers has 33 full members and 41 associate members, accounting for 99% of flour milling capacity in Great Britain and Ireland. The industry produces about 4 million tonnes of flour each year, mainly from wheat grown and milled in the UK and Ireland.