Our careful sourcing and selecting only the best wheat, creates a range of specialist flours that are tried and trusted by Britain’s best artisan bakers and discerning home cooks.
SOURCING THE BEST WHEAT
Every time you bake, whether it’s a straightforward white loaf or a complex cake recipe, we believe the flour you use should be right for the job. So we travel far and wide to select the finest wheat for our flour, because we know that when you start with the best, you get the best results.
Wheat is a natural product that can vary by variety, by region and by growing and harvest conditions from year to year. Wheat is selected to match its required end use and is carefully segregated accordingly.
However our knowledge of wheat allows us to select the best available and optimise its baking quality. When the wheat arrives at the mill, we visually inspect every load for appearance and smell. Then each load under goes analysis to check the quality of the wheat and to ensure consistency.
When we mill, every grain is treated with care and attention to achieve the best flour. Once it has been milled the flour is checked for quality and we also bake bread in our test bakery to ensure it reaches its fullest baking potential. The better the wheat, the better the flour.
SUPPORTING BRITISH FARMERS
At Carr’s we work as closely as possible with suppliers and farmer cooperative’s. Dengie Crops who supply some 20 – 25% wheat into Maldon and Coastal Grains who supply both the Silloth and Kirkcaldy mills and their farmer members who use us personally.
At Carr’s we think this is hugely important as the farmer knows where his wheat is going, what products we’re producing and knows we’re going to be here long term. This support and commitment gives farmers the confidence when planning what to grow. The majority of the wheat we buy is local to our mills.
Our Maldon mill actually sources most of the wheat within a 30 mile radius of the mill. This is one of the most fertile growing regions in the UK, with the most reliable weather and large amounts of sunshine. Many farmers around Maldon consider that their main aim; growing quality milling wheat is to keep the local mill supplied.
The mill based in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, however is in a very different region. It has very different weather that produces a softer wheat that is lower in protein and is much more suited to making biscuits. This is why most quality shortbread is made in Scotland! The higher protein wheat, required for breadmaking is mostly shipped from farmers on the South Coast saving 120 long distance lorries for each ship that arrives.
We are involved in a variety of schemes and committees which benefits UK farmers. We attend agricultural events from trade shows to farmer briefings. This is to ensure farmers know who Carr’s Flour are and also know that we’re keen to source the best possible wheat, as locally as we can as by supporting their businesses, they support ours.
SUPPORTING BRITISH BAKERS
Carr’s are hugely supportive of the small artisan bakers and we support various initiatives that celebrate the talent of Britain’s independent bakeries.
Carr’s help sponsor the World Bread Awards, sponsoring the Great British White Category for 2020. With our Scottish heritage, we are also heavily involved in supporting the Scottish Bakers. A membership organisation that helps bakers to sustain and grow their businesses.
We try and keep our waste to an absolute minimum and typically less than 0.08% of our production ends up in landfill as waste. During the milling process, a co-product is bran. We aim to minimise wastage as much as possible.
The bran produced is added into wholemeal and brown flours, inclusions into breakfast cereals or just food-grade bran. The remainder is not wasted and will be sold on and turned into animal feed to minimize waste.
Carr’s flour is packed into bags and paper sacks that have been produced in the UK, using paper sourced from renewable forests.
Carr’s source English wheat from local farmers where possible and carefully blend with other wheats to produce flour of the finest quality. 70% of the wheat supplied to Maldon comes from within 30 miles of the mill.
This local commitment helps to keep food miles to a minimum. Many of the farmers that supply Carr’s have been farming families for generations – indeed these farmers have been supplying Carr’s for generations.
We have a strong environmental ethos and currently operate our vehicles on Euro 6 engines, 6 now being the cleanest engine in the market. Wheat is also delivered by ship into the ports next to the mills in Kirkcaldy and Silloth. At Silloth, a single ship can deliver up to 3500 tonnes of wheat.
This is the equilivant to 120 lorry loads of wheat. This method of transporting wheat, has a massive environmental benefit, as it significantly reduces road traffic, a large source of pollution. At Kirkcaldy 70% of the wheat is delivered by boat and the remaining 30% of wheat comes locally from Scotland and North East England. At Silloth 50% of the wheat comes via boat and 50% by road from Yorkshire and Northumberland.
At Maldon 70% of the wheat comes from within 30 miles radius of the mill. Sourcing locally is a key part of our ethos and it doesnt just extend to wheat, we try and use local businesses as much as possible.
Carr’s is a family owned business that places huge value on people. After all its people that make a good company great! Many employees across the three mills have worked for Carr’s over 25 years. Each mill has dedicated milling staff with many years of milling experience.
At Carr’s in Maldon’s the milling team have over 100 years experience. Employees have also worked their way up in the company, Matthew who is in charge of the Maldon Mill started originally as a production assistant.
The Silloth town was actually built around the mill and the mill is still very much a part of the community today. 80% of people who work at the Silloth mill, live within walking distance.
At Carr’s, each of the mills are very much an integral part of the local community.
We are involved in a number of community initatives, here are just some we are involved in:
Carr’s helps support the Warwick Bridge Corn Mill, through a financial donation, as well as technical advice and support. The Warwick Bridge Corn mill which is local to the Kirkcaldy mill, has recently been renovated by donations and public grants through a lot of local community support.
A Community Benefit Society (CBS) has now been set up to lease and run the mill as a community bakery. Their vision is to create a sustainable future for the community Corn Mill that will preserve this key local asset for generations to come and enhance a sense of community in Warwick Bridge and the surrounding area.
Carrs Flour, also supports Breakfast Clubs, an initative by the Gregg’s Foundation to give children breakfasts. Carr’s Flour has funded the school breakfast club at Newtown Primary, Cumbria since April 2015.
Carr’s also sponsor the Raith Rovers Football Club, a Scottish professional football club based in the town of Kirkcaldy. Several local charities are regularly supported and contact with local schools and colleges is maintained.
Carr’s also support the Silloth local school, the children’s football team and Silloth Rugby Club.