A salute to the proud men and women along the grain-based food supply chain.
This year’s celebration is especially dedicated to all the flour heroes who ensured that flour supplies were secure under difficult circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We, at Namilco will join our many loyal customers and all consumers in the celebration of World Flour Day on March 20, 2021, and are looking forward to seeing many bakers, pastry makers and chow mein manufacturers use this day to draw attention to the significance and diversity of flour products with creative ideas. And we certainly look forward to seeing and tasting many unique indigenous Guyanese delights.
But who is a hero? People working in the flour industry are very modest and would hardly see themselves as such. A hero is a person admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Courage was needed to continue working during these times – not from home but on site in the mills. Our dedicated employees work in shifts 24 hours a day, six days per week, 52 weeks each year to ensure the continuous supply of flour. They are our quiet but diligent heroes.
Working in the industry, we all know that flour is a staple food that is often taken for granted. Yet bread, crackers, cake, pastries, roti, chow mein, sweetmeats and many other foods that we all love and consume regularly can’t be produced without it.
Some people who lived in Guyana in the eighties will have learnt to appreciate flour more, as due to an economic crisis it was banned for a long period at that time.
Therefore let us remember that flour feeds billions of people all over the world and is one of mankind’s most important staple foods – and has been so for thousands of years. The value of flour and its nutritional impact on mankind cannot be overstated.
We would also like to draw attention to the fact that flour was revolutionised from a nutritional standpoint in the mid-20th century when many countries began to enrich flour with micronutrients such as iron, niacin, thiamine and riboflavin. Near the end of the century, folic acid was added.
Nearly a quarter of the world’s population suffer from anaemia caused by a lack of iron. Iron fortification of food results in an increase in haemoglobin and serum ferritin levels, and a reduced risk of being anaemic or iron deficient. Folic acid fortification has been found to substantially reduce the incidence of neural tube defects in a number of countries, including several in North and South America.
In Guyana flour is the only commodity used as a medium to give consumers a daily intake of vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients. Therefore, milling and baking take on even greater importance during times of crisis.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has been catastrophic in its impact worldwide, posing a threat to the global economy and food security. Lockdowns in hard-hit regions, rising unemployment, increased wheat and freight costs and reduced economic activity are being seen throughout the world. Vaccines now present renewed hope of an eventual return to normalcy, but economic and other hardships are among the many negative impacts of the pandemic.
Our flour mill must therefore keep grinding, to guarantee that there is a steady supply of nutritious, affordable flour. In these times, perhaps more than ever, many will have a greater appreciation for the value of this basic but versatile food item – flour.
We therefore salute the proud men and women along the grain-based food supply chain — the grain farmers, flour millers, product shippers, bakers, chefs and other flour users — whose dedication to their craft ensure that we are supplied with our daily bread from the farm to the table.
To all those people, we at the National Milling Company of Guyana thank you for enriching us with flour – the “white gold.”
HAPPY WORLD FLOUR DAY.
NAMILCO – More Than Just Flour