WITTENBURG, GERMANY — The FlourWorld Museum in Wittenburg has inducted John Coumantaros, chairman of the board of Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC (FMN), into its Milling Hall of Fame. 

The museum, which was founded on the initiative of flour treatment company MC Mühlenchemie, is dedicated to the history of flour and its essential importance for humanity. The award recognizes individuals whose life’s work has had a major impact on the industry. 

“’Flour. Power. Life,’ the motto of our museum, underlines how essential flour is as the basis of human nutrition,” said museum founder Volkmar Wywiol. “It contributes to health and prosperity and enables societies to develop and thrive. These fundamental principles are embodied by John G. Coumantaros, who has redefined food supply in Nigeria.”

Coumantaros, who became FMN’s chairman of the board in 2014, grew the company into one of the world’s largest milling operations and led its evolution to become one of Africa’s largest food businesses. The company operates a mill in Apapa, Lagos, which has a daily milling capacity of more than 8,000 tonnes of flour.

Coumantaros said his vision was always to supply Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, with safe and affordable food. The promotion of local grain varieties is a central component of this vision. He said that by investing in research and development and in close collaboration with farmers, FMN contributes to reducing dependence on imported wheat and boosting the food security of Nigeria, whose current population of 216 million is projected to almost double by 2050.

Torsten Wywiol, chief executive officer of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe, and Roger Gilbert, publisher of Milling & Grain, presented him with a bronze sculpture in the form of a millstone, created by renowned sculptor Sibylle Waldhausen.

“John embodies in an ideal way the values that we uphold in the Milling Hall of Fame: Dedication, passion and innovation,” Wyiol said at the ceremony. “He is a shining example of how the visionary efforts of one person can change the world for the better.”

Coumantaros said he was deeply honored to receive the award.

“It recognizes not only my life’s work and all the employees of Flour Mills of Nigeria, but also the legacy of my father, George S. Coumantaros, on whose shoulders I stand,” he said.

He also emphasized the continuing dedication of FMN.

“We are committed to expanding our capacity and continuing to provide the building blocks for supplying Africa with staple foods,” he said. “Food security is a central challenge of our time, and we take our responsibility very seriously.”

Coumantaros joins FlourWorld Museum founder and flour treatment pioneer Volkmar Wywiol, Martin Schlauri of Bühler AG, and Jamal Al-Hazaa, chairman of Jordan-based Al-Hazaa Investment Group, as Hall of Fame members.