DONATION: Cumbrian agricultural businesses work together to help Ukrainians
DONATION: Cumbrian agricultural businesses work together to help Ukrainians

THE generous donation of 20 tonnes of flour has been sent to Uzhhorod in Western Ukraine and is enough to make 100,000 loaves of bread – thanks to Cumbrian agricultural businesses and local farmers.

Uzhhorod is a city in western Ukraine whose population is growing on a daily basis with people seeking safety and refuge from the war. Although the city is currently escaping being directly affected by the war, its infrastructure is under huge strain. One of the immediate problems is feeding the displaced people who are heading to Uzhhorod.

The city has a bakery run by the church, but because of the war, has no access to flour from within Ukraine because of lack of diesel, flour mills in Kyiv no longer operational and deliveries impossible due to inaccessible roads.

On hearing their plight, AW Jenkinson Transport Ltd, based in Penrith, Carrs Flour Mills and GrainCo, have sent out 20 tonnes of flour to the bakery.

Sara Valentin, media manager at A.W. Jenkinson, said: “We are really proud to be working with the Eastern European Agricultural Alliance transporting this much needed flour free of charge. When a local farming group asked for our assistance, we were keen to supply the transport, fuel, and drivers. This company started off as a farming business and farming is at our heart.”

Julius Deane, wheat director of Carrs Flour Mills, added: “A farming friend of mine asked if there was any chance Carrs Flour Mills could donate some flour for this cause free of charge. Four pallets quickly grew to eight and we decided to give twenty pallets which will make approximately 100,000 loaves of bread.

“We’ve been able to increase the amount we’ve sent because half of the funding required has been generously supplied by GrainCo based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. It’s an excellent quality general purpose bread flour milled at Kirkcaldy.

“All of us at GrainCo and Carrs Flour Mills have been horrified by what is going on in Ukraine and wanted to help. It’s the first time in my career wheat has been front page news.”

NFU members Paul and Nicola Renison of Cannerheugh Farm in Renwick, their friend Barny Maurice and charity organiser Nigel Harling can be credited with making initial contact with the Eastern European Agricultural Alliance.

Nicola said: “During the second week of the invasion Paul woke up and said we have to do something to help. We set up a GoFundMe page and raised £15,000 within a week just from donations from concerned members of the British public.”

In March Paul and Barney were part of the group which travelled to Lublin in Poland, on the Ukrainian border.

They took a mini bus and transit van loaded up with medical equipment donated by local vets. They also took essentials such as nappies.

This is where Paul and Barney met Maksym Kryvonis, Executive Director of the Eastern European Agricultural Alliance, who asked for help with sourcing flour for the bakery.

Barney added: “We dropped off all of the equipment at a big depot which was rammed with volunteers. There were lots of nationalities represented, loads from Poland.”

A.W. Jenkinson Transport Limited is one of the UK’s largest providers of haulage, distribution and logistics services. The Company was incorporated in 2014, having previously been part of A.W. Jenkinson Forest Products, formed in the 1960s. The Transport fleet now enables the A.W. Jenkinson group of businesses to handle nearly four million tonnes of roundwood, woodchips, shavings, bark and other timber co-products every year.