Britain’s disastrous wheat harvest, halts production of Weetabix Minis and Oatibix Bites. Supplies of the family favourites fallen victim to last year’s harvest Supermarkets have put up notices alerting shoppers to the problems.
Weetabix has had to halt production of some of its breakfast cereals as a result of a poor quality wheat harvest, it has been revealed.
Supplies of Minis and Oatibix Bites have fallen victim to last year’s disastrous wheat harvest which led to a combination of low yield and poor quality crops, according to trade magazine The Grocer.
Leading High Street supermarket chains have been running out of Minis and have put up notices alerting shoppers to the production problem causing the supply shortage.
The 2012 wheat crop was one of the worst for decades and the cereal company has been forced to stop producing all but one line in the two mini ranges while it changes its production methods to counteract the poor quality of the wheat.
The company which is committed to using only British wheat says the problem has been building since last year but says it did not run into significant capacity problems until late last month when it notified retailers.
Production of all Minis varieties excluding chocolate chip – the most popular – had been halted and production of Oatibix, which do not contain wheat, has been halted as a knock-on effect of the changes.
A spokesman for Weetabix Food Company told The Grocer: ‘The lower density of the wheat from last year’s harvest has led to operational issues.’
He added that the changes made to the production process had resulted in ‘significant’ engineering work and forced it to reduce output at the Burton Latimer site in Northamptonshire that produces Minis.
Weetabix would not say what volume of production had been affected by the stoppage but claimed the issue was ‘nearly’ resolved and that the products would be back in full production shortly.
The magazine says that the early signs for this year are not good because the cold weather meant this year’s planting for the coming season has been poor.
The Weetabix problems comes three months after Hovis was forced to abandon its pledge to use 100 per cent British wheat because of the poor harvest.