Home bakers put heat on supermarket flour supplies

This article was originally published on this site

For weeks, shelves of flour at supermarkets have been stripped bare as people rush to stock up for home baking.

Key points flour

Key points:

  • Flour suppliers say there is no shortage of flour, just people buying more than they need
  • Suppliers have not be able to get their product delivered fast enough
  • Flour mills have increased their production to meet demand

Last month food growers and manufacturers said Australia would not run out of things to eat and drink, and shoppers had no reason to panic about any shortages because of self-isolation and home cooking.

More time at home has created extra time for baking, and the demand for eggs is also high.

Flour suppliers say there is no shortage of flour in Australia and the supermarket shelves are empty only because people are stockpiling more than they need.

Even with retailers limiting the number of packets customers can buy, the flour mills simply cannot get their product delivered fast enough to re-stock supermarkets.

Diehard home bakers are being frustrated by the lack of flour on supermarket shelves.

For diehard home bakers, it has caused a fair amount of angst.

Some are searching across the country to get their hands on quality flour.

Milling 25 hours a week

Tasmanian grain grower Gareth Shapiro has filled orders from as far away as Western Australia and Queensland.

Grain grower Gareth Shapiro pours spelt what into the hopper of his stone ground mill.

He said the demand for his organic stoneground flour had been enormous.

The small stone mill can handle about 25 kilograms of grain and produces around 15 kilograms of flour an hour.

It is set up in a shed on the family farm at Moltema, 60 kilometres west of Launceston.

Mr Shapiro said he expects he may run out of wheat, spelt grain, or rye to mill into flour at some point.

“If we continue down this track, yes we will run out,” Mr Shapiro said.

“But Tonya and I have decided that for the things that we know we’ll run out of, we won’t list online.

“We’ll just have them available for locals.

Flour output up 300 per cent

Tasmania’s only commercial flour mill has also ramped up its production.

Tas Flour Mills in Launceston is running its mill 24 hours a day, increasing its output by 300 per cent.

The mill in the CBD is packaging 600 tonnes of flour a week for its Four Roses and Tas Taste brands.

Managing director Darren Lee said the business copped some criticism from customers when they closed their shop to the public.

He said it was to reduce the risk of infection to staff and to ensure supply to bakeries and supermarkets.