July 03, 2017

04/07/2017: Mühlenchemie’s “Flour Sack of the Year 2016” award goes to Arabian Milling & Food Industry

Mühlenchemie’s “Flour Sack of the Year 2016” award goes to Arabian Milling & Food Industry

The gala dinner for the 2017 Global Millers Symposium provided a noble setting, Volkmar Wywiol presented in Hamburg the 2016 Flour Sack Award to Tarek Hafez and Montaser Hosny from the Egyptian company Arabian Milling & Food Industry.

The Flour Sack of the Year 2016 shows a proud Bengal tiger whose power and strength are depicted on the premium brand of this Egyptian mill. With this award, the winner of which is chosen by an independent panel of judges, Mühlenchemie honours flour sack motifs as carriers of regional cultures.

They are to be seen at the FlourWorld Museum in Wittenburg. Arabian Milling & Food Industry is the biggest enterprise in the Egyptian food industry. One reason for its success is that it exports its products to countries of the African continent.

The impressive motif of the tiger symbolises the high quality of the mill’s premium brand, that is distributed mainly in the equatorial region.

“Although the tiger is not an African animal, its power is an excellent symbol of life in the jungle and therefore acts as a bracket for the many different cultures of that region. Its strength and dignity are a perfect way of conveying the claims we make concerning our company and the quality of our products”, says Tarek Hafez, Milling Operations Director of Arabian Milling & Food Industry in Egypt. Like those of the many sacks before it, this year’s motif from the “Flour Sack of the Year” will find a place of honour in Mühlenchemie’s “FlourWorld”.

With 3,400 exhibits from 137 countries, this museum near Hamburg houses the world’s biggest collection of flour sacks. The unique exhibition is devoted to the cultural history of man’s most important staple food.

As the museum’s central feature, the motifs on the sacks tell of the traditions of flour, its history and the myths surrounding it. That makes this collection a “hall of fame”, a tribute to all the millers who provide man with flour – day in, day out.

The museum is to be enlarged continuously as a “forum of cereal science” in order to familiarise consumers, too, with the history and significance of corn for our daily bread. From a total of 244 new sacks, ten were shortlisted for the 2016 award. The winning motif impressed the judges with its high emotional value.

In his speech, Volkmar Wywiol, the founder of the museum and a partner of Mühlenchemie, underlined the judges’ verdict, “The Bengal tiger gazes at the viewer with pride and confidence. Above all, the tiger stands for the power and strength conferred on man by flour. The animal’s typical attributes – courage, speed and stamina – are associated with the quality of the flour. The success of its exports to other African countries is confirmation that the mill is right: good sack motifs are good selling points.”

Volkmar Wywiol presented in Hamburg the 2016 Flour Sack award to the Egyptian company Arabian Milling & Food Industry. We spoke to the Operations Director of the mill, Tarek Hafez, about the award and his company.
Image credit: Public Relations v.Hoyningen-Huene

Tarek Hafez Interview:

Volkmar Wywiol presented in Hamburg the 2016 Flour Sack award to the Egyptian company Arabian Milling & Food Industry. Public Relations v. Hoyningen-Huene spoke to the Operations Director of the mill, Tarek Hafez, about the award and his company.

Congratulations, Tarek Hafez, on the 2016 Flour Sack Award! What significance does this prize have for your mill?

Thank you. My employees and I are very proud of this award. It is a great honour to us to find our ideas and activities as an enterprise acknowledged in this way, and as part of the global milling family. We also regard this award for our flour sack as a symbol of the successful development of Arabian Milling & Food Industry.

The prizewinning sack shows a tiger. How did you come to choose this motif?

One focus of our exports is Africa. The cultures of that continent differ widely. But one feature the equatorial regions have in common is their “jungle culture”. To them, the tiger is the symbol of power and strength. The flour and its motif constitute our premium brand, for which we use exclusively high-quality Australian wheat. The tiger represents this quality.

You mentioned the different cultures in Africa. What other motifs do you use?

Our marketing department puts a great deal of thought into the design of our sacks. We have another 30 or 40 brands that are sold in different regions, where they are faced with strong competition. Unlike Europe, where there are numerous possibilities of B2B advertising, the only medium we have for telling the story of a product is the flour sack. It is our most important marketing and communication tool. The animal kingdom plays an important role in this context. We use other tiger motifs, a jaguar or even an American eagle. But traditional Egyptian motifs help to market our products, too.

And you are very successful with that?

Our company was established in 2004. Now, with a capacity of 2,000 tons of flour, we are the biggest enterprise in the Egyptian food industry as well as the country’s biggest mill. In future we are hoping to double our capacity. Such development is only made possible by close partnerships with companies like Bühler and Mühlenchemie.

What needs do you have in respect of flour improvement?

For a long time, Egyptian mills only processed one kind of wheat. Then, during the first Gulf War in the early 1990s, more and more grain had to be imported from other countries. That presented us with the challenge of equalising different qualities of the raw material. Egypt is now the world’s biggest importer of wheat, which means nothing goes without companies like Mühlenchemie.

How does cooperation with Mühlenchemie work?

Our parent company, the Abu Donkol Group, is the biggest wheat importer of Egypt. We are one of the few mills in the market that import wheat themselves. Mühlenchemie’s employees already advise us when we buy the wheat and can analyse samples for their quality at the Stern Technology Center at the company’s headquarters in Ahrensburg. Even before the wheat arrives, we know how to process it in order to produce a quality flour.

The Flour Sack Museum in Wittenburg is not far from the Stern Technology Centre. You have visited it already. What was your impression?

At first I didn’t know what to make of the idea. But when I saw the collection of 3,400 motifs and the way they were presented, I was overwhelmed. It makes you realise that flour is a global food, that the history of mankind tells us “we all come together in flour”.

Visit the Mühlenchemie website, 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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