Although the heritage of both Warburtons and Hovis dates back more than 100 years, the UK's two leading bread brands have traditionally baked bread using a mix of wheat from around the world.
However, Hovis maker Premier Foods has revealed that, as of next January, its entire range of Hovis bread products will be made using red wheat exclusively sourced from the UK. Historically, red wheat regarded as the best quality wheat for bread has been imported from Canada.
Jon Goldstone, marketing director of Hovis, said switching to a domestic supply had required a "massive multimillion pound investment" spanning five years. "The magic comes from choosing the right variety of wheat and combining it with absolutely the right growing conditions, soil, location and time of harvest. It's taken five years to get this mix right," he said.
One in every eight wheat fields in the UK would be growing for Hovis, said Goldstone, who pledged to keep shelf prices the same despite the cost of manufacturing going up. The new Hovis loaves will arrive one month ahead of Warburtons' all-British loaves, Seed to Crumb.