Weetabix is working closely with its local farmers to keep production going during the Covid-19 crisis by committing to sourcing all wheat for Weetabix Original from within 50 miles of its Burton Latimer mill.
During the current pandemic, Weetabix has seen an increase in sales for its products in recent weeks and is working closely with its farming partners to ensure they continue to meet the demand of consumers.
Hitesh Bhatia, strategic sourcing manager at Weetabix said: “We’re very proud to use the high-quality wheat from local farmers within 50 miles of our site in every bowl of Weetabix, supporting the British farming industry. We have been working closely with our group of circa 350 approved growers to ensure they are able to safely maintain their operations. Responsible production is a core focus for us, and our farming community is a core foundation of our sustainability commitments.
“Working closely with our Growers Group allows us to reduce food miles and fertiliser usage, as well as giving consumers consistent quality and complete transparency of where their food has come from.”
“While we have faced some challenges from a logistical and delivery perspective as a result of Covid-19, our farming network is still working as normal, so we’re not expecting any demand issues looking ahead.”
Jonni Henson, grain trader at Frontier Agriculture Ltd, said: “Over the last few weeks, we have started to see the effect of extremely high demand for product throughout March. Our farmer partners until now have been relatively unaffected – their work is outdoors and usually with fewer workers, social distancing is a little easier to adhere to.
“Weetabix is a truly cooperative partner, which helps to streamline the process and ensures both farmers and hauliers can be flexible during this time. This flexible, open relationship means that when the company requires extra wheat, which we’re expecting in the coming months, both we and our suppliers are happy to oblige.”
Jonathan Lane, head of grain trading at ADM Agriculture Ltd, added: “We work as the link between Weetabix and the farming suppliers who make up the Growers Group, ensuring that Weetabix receive the right quality wheat in a responsible way. The wheat that Weetabix is currently using in production is from the 2019 harvest, kept in Red Tractor-approved stores, so there haven’t been any issues with wheat levels, even with high demand for product in recent weeks. While we have faced some challenges from a logistical and delivery perspective as a result of Covid-19, our farming network is still working as normal, so we’re not expecting any demand issues looking ahead.”