Special edition Weetabix packs celebrate first of its yellow box cereals to contain Northants crop

Northants-based cereal brand Weetabix released its range of limited edition 'first harvest' packs to mark the first of its yellow box cereals to contain crop from this year's harvest.

The firm says its 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 being sourced from within 50 miles of its Burton Latimer factory.

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 - according to the brand itself - consumers can expect their Weetabix to offer the 'same high quality as they're used to', with natural protein levels in the wheat crop found to be at their highest levels for a decade.

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."

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."

Original article here: http://www.northampton-news-hp.co.uk/