Weetabix Food Company has marked this year’s harvest by unveiling a series of images with its locally-based wheat Growers Group. All the wheat for its classic Weetabix biscuits is sourced from within 50 miles of its Burton Latimer factory in Northamptonshire by the Growers Group.
The Growers Group is a collective of approved environmentally-aware farmers who have volunteered and are trusted to grow, harvest and store the finest quality wheat for the nation’s favourite breakfast brand.
The images show the members of the Weetabix team unveiling a new branded banner at the White House Farm in Bozeat, near Wellingborough, with local farmer and Growers Group member Will Green and his wife Claire.
This year, unsettled and showery weather has resulted in a stop-start harvest in Great Britain, according to the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). Helen Plant, Senior Analyst at AHDB said: “Weather has been the limiting factor to harvest progress, with farmers often having ripe crops stood in fields waiting for weather windows and as harvest has progressed it’s become increasingly apparent that these delays have impacted Hagberg Falling Numbers. Overall, wheat yields are reported to be close to or slightly above average.”
Gleadell Agriculture Limited, one of the two merchant partners to Weetabix, work with over 220 farmers to supply wheat to Weetabix. Discussing this year’s harvest Jonathan Lane, Trading Director at Gleadell said: “The prolonged, weather-effected UK harvest seems to have resulted in an above-average protein, but lower hagberg and specific weight wheat crop, with greater regional variations. We certainly don’t have the homogenous generic quality that was enjoyed last campaign and these regional variations may result in some supply chain challenges, especially in the areas governed by either domestic milling, or export demand.”
Despite the challenges presented by this year’s harvest, Weetabix remains committed to sourcing wheat for its Weetabix Original biscuits from local farmers, and delivering a great tasting, nutritious, British breakfast every time.
Hitesh Bhatia, Strategic Sourcing Manager at Weetabix, said: “Our dedication to the wheat supply chain is bound by the Weetabix Wheat Protocol, which goes beyond the requirements of the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme to further reduce food miles and fertilizer usage. Over the years we have faced many challenging harvests and our continued strong relationship with local farmers and wheat merchants ensures that the wheat coming into Weetabix is always of the best available quality to meet our needs.”
Kevin Verbruggen, Head of Brand at Weetabix, said: “Every single one of the 365 whole grains of wheat found in a Weetabix biscuit is packed with goodness, and importantly grown within 50 miles of our Weetabix mills in the heart of Northamptonshire. Together with the Growers Group we can improve the conditions in the wheat growing industry each year, guaranteeing a better breakfast for families across the nation. Doing the right thing, even when no one is watching is something that runs through our culture and ways of working.”