WA’s biggest flour market has been slammed for selling gluten free cakes in an attempt to get shoppers to switch to the “healthy” option.
The “gluten free” market has surged since the Federal Government introduced a new gluten free label to supermarkets in January, which included warnings that some foods contained gluten.
But the rise of gluten free bakeries has come with a big price tag.
The state’s largest flour market, Karratha, has a total of more than 30 bakeries, but they are now selling cakes made with flour made from wheat and barley.
The new gluten- free label will come into force in the first week of July, and all bakeries that sell cakes made from flour made with wheat and malt have to adhere to it.
Karratha flour sales fell by almost 20 per cent in the past three months, with many of the bakeries struggling to make ends meet.
“I can’t say I’m happy, I have been struggling, and I think that’s really disappointing for our community,” said owner and baker David Smith.
“There are a lot of people in the community that are going to be struggling to keep going.”
He’s been selling cakes to his family for a long time, and he said he had been doing it for about 50 years.
“We have had flour boxes for many years, so it’s just about getting used to it,” he said.
“You can’t eat cake for a few weeks, it’s going to take you weeks to digest the flour, but you can make cakes and have a good experience with it.”
The new rules were put in place by the Federal government in January to protect people who choose to eat gluten free food.
“The new policy for the flour is very strict and very strict,” Health Minister, Jill Hennessy, said at the time.
“It’s very strict, and there is a whole range of exemptions.”
In addition to that, we have put in a number of new and significant measures that we think will help our community.
“A new policy to protect wheat and maize from gluten, known as the National Wheat Board Protocol, has also been put in effect.”
If they are being sold to someone who is under 18 they must also have a certificate of compliance from a doctor that says they have no medical need for the gluten.”””
The only exceptions are for people who can consume the flour in their own home or are accompanied by an adult.”
“If they are being sold to someone who is under 18 they must also have a certificate of compliance from a doctor that says they have no medical need for the gluten.”
“The wheat and other grains will be gluten free, but we will have to make sure that they are labelled gluten free.”‘
They’re going to put the cart before the horse’The new laws have been met with a wave of complaints from consumers.
The WA Farmers’ Union said in a statement the new policy was a “gross waste of taxpayers money”.
“If this policy goes ahead, we will be forced to close our bakeries in Karrathas, Kew, North West, Northcote and Perth, and will lose out on the sales of all our flour and bread products to our members,” it said.
In a letter to the Minister, WA’s Grain Council, which represents the industry, said the rules were a “sensible and sensible” approach to protect consumers.
“These new measures are necessary to protect the livelihoods of farmers and the environment,” it wrote.
“Unfortunately, the new gluten Free label has already caused some serious problems for those who wish to buy gluten-Free flour, and they have been forced to turn to other food sources.”
If the Government continues with this misguided policy, it is likely to see the closure of many wheat and rice farms, and the loss of the ability to sell flour to the general public.
“Further, if we lose access to our wheat and flour from other states, it will have a negative impact on our wheat farmers and farmers markets.”
“We believe that the new labels are a good thing, but will cause unnecessary suffering for farmers and will further drive up the price of flour.”
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