October 29, 2017

30/10/2017: ‘Wheat, flour and …’ – and ‘crazy people’, Walking the Italian way in Cortonia and Siena

by Roger Gilbert, Milling and Grain

200-plus millers and their partners ascended on Cortona in Tuscany, Italy between September 15-17, 2017 to attend Ocrim’s 7th annual ‘Wheat, flour and …’ one-day conference which this year partnered with Paglierani and Bonifiche Ferraresi

To ‘Walk the Italian Way’ - the company’s widely-promoted motto - attending delegates had to shake off convention and accept that this was a time to relax and enjoy the art, architecture and environment that is truly Italian away from the normal tourist attractions, although the final day, Sunday, ended with a walking tour of Siena and lunch in one of its back streets.


The programme welcomed 200 delegates to the Centro Convegni Sant’ Agostino in Cortona on a bright but cool Saturday morning in mid-September, 2017 with coffee.

An introduction by Ocrim’s CEO Alberto Antolini talked about Italians being ‘crazy people’ in the best of the three Italian meanings of the phrase; the phrase that captures Ocrim’s uniqueness in terms of dedication, enthusiasm and an odd-ball way of looking at the world.

In a quiet moments Mr Antolini even suggested the word missing from the event’s name of ‘Wheat, flour and …’ after all these years might well be, ‘crazy people’.

A video shown during the conference of the people who work within Ocrim and which focuses on individual faces, shows expressions ranging from puzzlement and quizzicalness to humour and delight through to a proudness and dedication that shines through.

These people are passionate about what they do. And the choice of venue for this one-day global milling conference and get-together was in an old monastery, within the walls of a hilltop village that has changed little over the past couple of centuries.

Overshadowed by marble, masonry and mosaics and tapestries of saints and priests, a range of speakers talked about the latest technological developments in the production of today’s staple foodstuff, flour.

At the heart of the day’s presentations was that delivered by Dr Lutz Popper of Mühlenchemie on ‘Flour Improvers - basic information on enzymes and maturing agents’.

It was a way of showing how machinery has to play an essential role in processing and preparing grain for its transition into flour and then baked products such as bread and other cereals-based foodstuffs. That was followed by Fabio Vuoto’s look at Ocrim’s metering systems.

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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