“And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” – Judges 6:12
In the Old Testament book of Judges, chapter 6, we find a man threshing wheat in a winepress, to protect his hard-earned harvest from the raids of the enemy. This is where the story of Gideon, a judge in his time begins. In a sense, this is also where the story of Gideon Milling begins.
South Africa has always had a strong agricultural industry. However, with an ever-changing global economy, fluctuating currency and stockmarkets, and various added costs in the value chain, it has become increasingly difficult for both farmers and consumers to absorb these increases in costs and food prices. It was in this context that the idea was born for a group of wheat-farmers to co-operatively own and operate their own mill and produce high-quality products at a comparatively affordable rate, and in so doing benefit both the farmers and the consumers.
Gideon Milling was birthed as a vision, a dream, to transform the way farmers relate to the retail sector by having more direct involvement in their produce through the value chain, and to be able to provide good quality, healthier products to consumers at affordable prices. The plan is to grow this Kingdom business to one of influence in the marketplace. To start a business like Gideon Milling in a sector where big brands have been established for years might have seemed foolish for some, but like Gideon in the Bible with his small band of men, God has shown His favour in divine connections and opportunities, bringing together the right people at the right time. By just following His lead, we believe it is possible to make a real difference in the world.
Passion for People
The most important component of any business is the people involved. Through responsible business practices Gideon Milling endevours to provide employment opportunities, and by extension see upliftment of the communities in the area near the mill site. Each person employed represents a family, and families are the heart of communities.
The people who work at Gideon Milling are more than employees. They are a team. From the manager, to the miller, to the worker on the assembly line – everybody believes in what they do, and the product that they deliver.
Passion for Farming
Currently, all wheat in South Africa is non-GMO (genetically modified), therefore it is not permissable to indicate “non-GMO” on packaging. In the near future however, genetically modified varieties are set to be introduced into this country, and the uptake is expected to be huge. A growing number of health-conscious consumers do not want genetically modified food products, and Gideon Milling shares that philosophy. The wheat grown and processed is thus GMO free, and will remain so in the future.
Crops are grown in an environmentally conscious way, using no-till sowing and crop rotation methods with various crop-varieties being grown in a seasonal cycle. This method of crop-rotation enriches the soil, naturally infusing it with the nitrates, phosphates and minerals needed to encourage earthworms and other biological processes.
At the Millstone
Conventional flour mills are ground at high speeds and can generate heat in excess of 90°C. Flour bakes at 40°C, so at high temperatures this process creates starch-damage, which transforms the proteins in the wheat from its natural state. It also allows bakery products to absorb more water, depleting nutritional value even further. Vitamins & nutrients are added to the flour to fill it up.
Gideon Milling produces stone ground flour. The two mill stones grind at slower speeds and generate heat of no more than 36° – 38°C, which means the protein stays intact. The result is a healthier, more digestible flour. There has been a number of customers who have reported that despite being gluten intolerant, they have had no negative effects from using Gideon Milling’s flour. This is likely due to the process used.
Gideon Milling has secured distribution of its flours in Shoprite Checkers stores throughout South Africa, the largest retail chain in the nation. Because of the savings throughout the value chain, Gideon Milling Flour can be priced affordably-a premium, healthy product at prices matching the mass-produced flours of bigger brands.
Gideon Milling supplies any company that values the stoneground product quality, no matter its’ size. Our speciality stores accross South Africa range from small boutique bakeries, to family-owned businesses that have made the call to support the stoneground choice. As a local supplier, we value the importance of supporting small local businesses, and appreciate their choice to source their flour locally, in turn making a positive impact on the South African economy and its’ thriving agricultiral industy.