Sir: The news of Weetabix halting production six months after last year’s disappointing wheat harvest (‘Poor quality wheat crop halts Weetabix Minis production,’ 20 April) serves as a useful reminder of how an increasingly complex set of risks needs to be considered when committing to ingredient sourcing strategies.
Clearly provenance is an important part of the Weetabix brand - and it is not alone in wanting to support British agriculture. However, it appears to be the latest in a growing number of businesses struggling to maintain sourcing commitments due to extreme weather. This must surely be weighing on the minds of others considering following a similar strategy.
Sourcing ingredients at a reasonable price without disruption to quality standards, while meeting new sustainability demands is a difficult juggling act. New models and approaches will be needed and there is lots that can be done. Resilience is the current buzzword, and leading businesses are considering quite dramatic shifts in their sourcing strategies to survive and profit in an era of scarcity and complexity.
Any work that can be done to help businesses deal with these challenges can only help ensure the long-term competitiveness of our industry.
Richard Sheane, sustainability consultant, Best Foot Forward