Poor UK wheat harvest halts Weetabix production
Production of Weetabix Minis and Oatibix Bitesize varieties has been halted temporarily. No other products have been impacted.
“The problem is linked to the quality of wheat caused by the extreme wet and cold weather during last year’s growing season,” Weetabix said in an emailed statement.
“We can confirm that unfortunately due to technical issues we have been unable to make Weetabix Minis and Oatibix Bitesize to our exacting standards and have taken the decision to reduce production to resolve the issues,” it said.
Weetabix said the move was temporary and that it is working hard to fully restore normal capacity so consumers can enjoy the full portfolio at its best quality.
“We remain committed to sourcing local wheat, weather permitting,” it concluded.
Tough to use 100% British wheat?
Back in January this year, bread maker Hovis was forced to cut its 100% British wheat pledge due to the poor quality of the UK wheat harvest.
Hovis owner Premier Foods said it would start sourcing EU wheat instead, to maintain quality in its packaged breads.
A recent Cereal Quality Survey conducted by AHDB/HGCA found that the 2013 crop had the lowest specific weight in the survey’s history, which begun in 1977.
Of the Group 1 samples surveyed in 2013, only 3% met a high quality bread specification, compared to 40% in 2011.