Weetabix has reaffirmed its commitment to sourcethe wheat it purchases each year from farmers located within 50 miles of itsfactory in Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire.
Weetabix will exclusively source wheat for Weetabixbiscuits and Alpen muesli from two local wheat merchants, Gleadell and Fengrainas 2015 marks the fifth anniversary of Weetabixs wheat protocol, a series ofcommitments by local farmers to guarantee the nutritional quality of thewholegrain wheat and the protection of the local environment.
In contrast to cereal manufacturers that buy wheaton the open market, Weetabix has worked with its farmers to establish a strictprotocol covering quality, consistency, traceability and environmentalsustainability of the harvest. The arrangement brings many benefits; boostingthe ability of local farmers to invest in higher standards, providing greattasting British wheat for British breakfast bowls, and providing Weetabix witha consistent quality of wheat for its mills.
Following changes to the governments countrysidestewardship scheme, Weetabix is consulting with its Growers Group, a council oflocal farmers, on changes to the wheat protocol. Weetabix is the second largestplayer in the UK cereal market which is valued at 2 billion. Weetabix recentlyattended Cereals 2015, in Lincolnshire to meet with farmers and discuss theirambitions as suppliers to Weetabix.
Hitesh Bhatia, IngredientPurchasing manager at Weetabix said: If were to succeed in helping ourconsumers feel incredible inside, the quality of wheat inside Weetabix has tobe incredible too. With the support of our growers as well as Gleadell andFengrain I know that every single one of the 365 grains in each Weetabix biscuitis absolutely packed full of essential protein, iron and wholegrain goodness.Reviewing our wheat protocol in partnership with our farmers will allow us tocontinue to guarantee a best in class breakfast for the British public.
NFU combinable cropsChairman Mike Hambly said: Backing Britishfarming has never been so important and its great to see that Weetabix aredeveloping this commitment with local farmers; 78% of shoppers want to see moreBritish food on the shelves and 86% want to buy more traceable food fromBritish farms. Farmers need this support, as demonstrated by Weetabix, iftheir businesses are to continue contributing so positively to the countryseconomy and environment.
Our farmers produce a high-quality product whichWeetabix will continue to reap the benefits of; over 17,000 arable farmers inEngland and Wales adhere to Red Tractor assured food standards. Farmers canproduce while nurturing wildlife they grow the quality wheat Weetabix demandsalongside voluntarily managing 250,000 hectares of land to support habitats andprotect natural resources with help from the Campaign for the FarmedEnvironment.
Farmer Robert Rouston,whose farm in Leicestershire supplies wheat to Weetabix, said: To grow wheat for Weetabix is a local badgeof honour. This year we have over 500 tonnes growing well, and I know thequality of my wheat will be reflected in every spoonful enjoyed at Britishbreakfast tables. This will be my fifth harvest with Weetabix and Ive noticeda real improvement in the wildlife I see as I walk my fields. We dont own theland, were merely stewards for the next generation, and with Weetabixssupport Im confident for the future of the British countryside.