Weetabix Food Company has released a range of limited edition ‘first harvest’ packs to mark the first of its ‘Yellow Box’ cereals to contain crop from Harvest 2016. Weetabix’s exclusive range of first harvest packs represent the very best of British wheat farming in 2016, with all wheat for its classic Yellow Box cereal sourced from within 50 miles of its Burton Latimer factory in Northamptonshire, says the company.
Despite not reaching the record levels set last year, given the low sunlight levels in June, early samples suggest a relatively solid year for wheat quality, with an estimated 14.8 million tonnes to be harvested this season. And consumers can expect their Weetabix to offer the same high quality as their used to, with natural protein levels in the wheat crop found to be at their highest levels for a decade.
Committed to sourcing all wheat for its Yellow Box cereal from local farmers, Weetabix says that it is proud to deliver a great tasting, nutritious and British breakfast every time. Weetabix’s dedication is bound by its Wheat Protocol, which goes beyond the requirements of the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme and Entry Level Environmental Stewardship scheme to further reduce food miles and fertiliser usage.
Hitesh Bhatia, Strategic Sourcing Manager at Weetabix said: “Our ultimate goal is to supply British consumers with the highest quality and most sustainable product that can be sourced in the UK. Every single one of the 365 grains found in a Weetabix biscuit is packed with essential protein and wholegrain goodness. Not only that, it’s bound by the fantastic relationship we have with our wheat merchants and our local farmers, who we continue to work closely with to improve conditions within the wheat growing industry every year.”
Now in its sixth year, Weetabix’s industry leading protocol, which goes beyond the requirements of the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme and Entry Level Environmental Stewardship scheme to further reduce food miles and fertilizer usage. The protocol covers a series of commitments to guarantee the quality of the wholegrain wheat and to ensure the protection of the local environment.
Gleadell spokesperson, Dan Sedgewick, said: “A lower planted area and a return to trend yields will see UK production fall nearly 2mln tonnes compared to last year, but the quality of the wheat that has been cut so far is good. The big talking point for the UK market has been the result of the EU referendum and its impact on UK grain prices and the sharp fall in the value of sterling following the vote. This has been combined with disappointing production in mainland Europe, which has put £15/mt on UK grain prices since the lows of mid-June.”
Farmer Robert Barnes, whose farm in Bedfordshire supplies wheat through Gleadell to Weetabix, said: “We’ve been growing wheat for Weetabix for the last decade and it’s fantastic to think that our product will once again be served at kitchen tables all over the country on a daily basis. As stipulated by Weetabix’s protocol, we endeavour to produce wheat to the highest quality, while meeting our own very strict standards for sustainability, and despite disappointing weather conditions in June, we have managed to produce another batch of the finest quality grain.”
Weetabix’s promise to use quality British wheat is supported by the brand’s commitment to provide a healthy and nutritious breakfast cereal that doesn’t compromise on taste, concludes the business. With today’s shoppers looking for healthier cereals, Weetabix has continued to focus upon its wholesome ingredients, sourced from local farmers who can guarantee the best quality. The efforts are paying off, with Weetabix becoming more & more popular, while crucially helping to protect the livelihoods of British farmers, it adds.