We’re staying local, Weetabix tells Northants farmers
BREAKFAST cereal firm Weetabix has reaffirmed its commitment to source the wheat it purchases each year from farmers located within 50 miles of its factory in Burton Latimer.
The announcement coincided with a visit from the Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss to a local farm that supplies Weetabix.
The establishment of Weetabix’s Wheat Protocol goes beyond the requirements of the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme and Entry Level Environmental Stewardship scheme to further reduce food miles and fertiliser usage.
Weetabix will exclusively source wheat for Weetabix biscuits from two local wheat merchants, Gleadell and Fengrain. 2016 will be the sixth harvest since the establishment of Weetabix’s industry leading ‘wheat protocol’ in 2010.
The protocol covers a series of commitments to guarantee the quality of the wholegrain wheat and to ensure the protection of the local environment.
In contrast to cereal manufacturers that buy wheat on the open market, Weetabix has worked with its farmers to establish a strict protocol – covering quality, consistency, traceability and environmental sustainability of the harvest. The arrangement boosts the ability of local farmers to invest in higher standards, providing great tasting British wheat and providing Weetabix with a consistent quality of wheat for its mills.
Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “From farm to fork, our food industry adds more than £100billion to our economy every year and is vital to Britain’s future.
“Every food and farming business can play a role in making British food a world leader and Weetabix is a fantastic example of the vision, creativity and innovation that has built the UK’s global reputation for quality, tradition and safety.
“As part of 2016 Year of Great British Food, we want more companies like Weetabix creating top quality products using locally-grown ingredients and supporting farmers across the country and helping grow our One Nation economy.”
Following changes to the Government’s countryside stewardship scheme, Weetabix consulted with its Growers Group, a council of local farmers, on changes to the wheat protocol.
Pictured – FAITH IN OUR FARMS: Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss meets Weetabix farmer Mark Swinfen.