‘Bake-off’ flour shortage…as Ireland remains dependent on the UK

The Great British Bake Off returned for a new season on Channel 4 this week and AgriLand was interested to hear that bakers almost ran out of flour while filming.

Previous reports have shown that the contestants use approximately 20 different types of flour on the show and in total around 130kg of the product is used, along with 150kg of sugar and 95kg of butter.

This year’s series was filmed during lockdown when contestants and staff entered into a bubble for six weeks in a hotel in Essex.

Meanwhile, there were flour shortages on the supermarket shelves as demand from home bakers out weighed supply and flour mills struggled to keep up.

In fact, flour sales increased by approximately 82% during lockdown in the UK.

The producers had to scour the country for flour. They searched for bags in corner shops and asked restaurants for their flour stocks.

Once the bags were retrieved they were then cleaned numerous times before entering the bake-off bubble to prevent any possible spread of Covid-19.

Ireland’s dependence on imported flour

Flour shortages were also evident here in Ireland during lockdown and further emphasised our dependence on imported product.

Also Read: Is the poor wheat harvest bad for bread prices?

Ireland imports almost all flour used in this country, much of it from the UK. Only a small amount of artisan flour is produced from Irish wheat.

With Brexit looming and decreased wheat production in the UK this season, due to poor weather, lower acreages and lower yields, it might be time to rethink where our flour comes from here in Ireland.