Gary Sharkey

Source: UK Flour Millers

Gary Sharkey

Trade body UK Flour Millers has elected Hovis procurement director Gary Sharkey as its new president.

Sharkey, who is a former president of the European Millers Association, is described as a veteran of the grain business. He was elected as president at the trade body’s annual meeting in Cambridge.

UK Flour Millers represents the flour milling industry. It has 33 full members – including ADM Milling, Allied Mills, Carr’s, Hovis, Marriages, and Wrights – and 41 associate members, which account for around 99% of the flour milling capacity in Great Britain and Ireland.

“I am delighted to take on the role of leading an industry that plays a crucial part in the UK’s food supply,” said Sharkey when accepting the nomination.

“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 fibre 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.”

He also paid tribute to his predecessor Roger Butler, chair of Whitworth Brothers, who led the industry for three years through what UK Flour Millers described as the ‘triple whammy’ 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 added. “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.”

The appointment comes shortly before Alistair Gale takes up the post of chief executive at the trade body on 1 June 2023. He takes over from director general Alex Waugh, who is retiring after more than 30 years of service.