Weetabix halts production of Minis after poor harvest

Weetabix has halted production of some of its mini cereals and breakfast bars due to last year’s poor quality wheat harvest.

Cereal production of Mini varieties, including chocolate chip, has been temporarily halted at the company’s Northamptonshire factory.

A spokesman for the company said low yields and poor quality wheat due to last year’s harvest were to blame.

Weetabix, which prides itself on using 100% British wheat in its products, said the problem had been building for several months, but came to a head last month.

Production of Oatibix Bites, which do not contain wheat, have also been halted as a direct result of the changes.

In recent weeks, leading high street supermarkets have been running out of Minis and placing notices in aisles alerting shoppers to the shortage.

A Weetabix Food Company spokesman told The Grocer magazine: “The lower density of the wheat from last year’s harvest has led to operational issues.”

In January, Hovis was forced to abandon its “100% British wheat” pledge after the UK’s poor harvest left the company with “no choice” but to import from the EU.

Following last year’s wet spring and summer, UK wheat yields dropped to 6.7t/ha last year – down 14.1% on the five-year average, according to the NFU’s 2012 wheat survey.

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