March 27, 2017

27/03/2017: A perspective on nutritional privilege

by Clifford Spencer, Goodwill Ambassador, NEPAD, and Chairman, Milling4Life

The chilly UK weather in February ensures that my Scottish ancestry demands porridge made from nutritious oats for my daily breakfast
Clifford Spencer

This feat of nature in the production of the crop of oats and its conversion into porridge provides nutritious and long lasting daily sustenance, as well as gut health that I have come to take for granted from early childhood.

My now regular visits to developing countries are a constant reminder that mine is a privileged existence and diet.

One that vast areas of the planet and its peoples can only dream of, with way too often not only adults but vulnerable young children going without as they set out on their daily journey to survive and hopefully prosper.

Indeed, without food for their children many developing country schools attract very few attendees and education suffers, along with the development of whole countries and their vital economies.

That situation comes as a stark reminder to the importance of the milling industry, and that production and making available on a daily basis a suite of nutritious milling products is not only a matter of satisfying taste but in many parts of the world the basis of life itself as well as that of national development.

The driving force of Milling4Life
This is the fundamental driver and basis of ‘Milling4Life’, for this reason we will be looking closely at areas such as developing milling skills, equipment and in-country facilities for a wider range of crops than that which are currently covered.

In particular those that form the basis of agricultural production in many developing countries but currently struggle to function compared to those with developed nutritious and efficient food chains.

In a few days’ time I will set off on a journey to the United States, and during my stay I will witness the very latest and best of milling technology in the state of Kansas, who produce the most economic wheat as a farm crop in the world.

How do I know that? Well I spent most of my farming career attempting to match the production costs of Kansas’s wheat regularly achieved by its expert farmers, and frustratingly found it more than difficult to achieve!

In fact - being brutally honest, failing to achieve that target in often inclement and unsuitable UK weather and soils for this purpose really became the norm.

However in the early 70’s my UK family farm did produce the Supreme Championship winning sample of milling wheat at the World Fair in Toronto, Canada. Being a typical farmer, I talked about this constantly with anyone who’d care to listen (and still do now over 40 years later) whilst conveniently forgetting virtually all of the other wheat production that never reached those heights. This is same situation as our national football team, but that is another story!

The good news for Milling4Life is that the climate and soils in many developing countries are more than up to the task and better still well adapted. Indigenous cereal crops exist in these countries that are also suitable for milling and are already widely grown.

The challenge comes in putting these countries, crop and their milling industries through the earnest development that so readily produces items such as my top class breakfast cereal, which I enjoy on a daily quality and supply always guaranteed basis.

Read the full article HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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