From soil to spoon – the journey of a breakfast cereal
Did you know that every mouthful of your favourite Kellogg’s breakfast cereal has a story behind it? Take ingredients like wheat and barley – seeds cultivated and cropped specifically for that bowl of cereal that goes towards feeding the family.
Kellogg’s have what they call an ‘Origins’ programme, a highly successful initiative with farmers across the world to grow grains and other crops in a sustainable way which then feed into Kellogg’s recipes and promote good farming practice.
Take Charlie Reynolds, an East Midlands farmer in the UK, who plays an important part in the ingredients that go into a Kellogg’s cereal. Reynolds runs a 3,000-acre farm in Courteenhall, Northamptonshire where wheat, oilseed rape, spring barley and spring beans, grow naturally to be later harvested for Kellogg’s.
As a farmer involved in the Origins programme, Reynolds said it was important for people to know where their food comes from.
“Some people may not know the journey which their breakfast cereal goes through,” he said. “We start cultivating seed beds in August and September, ready for planting the seed in October. We nurture the plant through the winter and grow it through the spring, so it is ready for harvesting in July and August. From there, our grain is sent to a local mill where it is sent to Kellogg’s to be made into cereal that we know and love.”
It is the attention of care and detail that Reynolds takes pride in. His work on the estate is an impressive farming legacy that spans several hundred years. Agricultural difficulties such as growing crops in the face of adverse weather are part of an annual regime that works towards sustainability and taking lessons from the land. Reynolds said the Origins programme further promotes this mindset with a special emphasis on environmental care.
“We welcome the environmental emphasis from the programme,” he said. “The estate has been here in the family for several hundred years and the environmental benefits we receive from the programme will make sure the estate is here for the next generation.”
Another important aspect of the Origins programme is the networking aspect. Farmers from different regions meet up with each other to discuss farming practices and exchange notes on crop cultivation. Reynolds said the community spirit instilled by these meetings add a level of camaraderie and support to their work.
“It’s been a challenging year but with the support of other farmers and with the Kellogg’s programme we’ve had a lot of learnings through the year which we can take forward,” he said. “There’s a great community spirit with the Origins programme. We meet up three or four times a year and exchange ideas and knowledge to help each other out to make us better farmers. I love what I do so to be able to meet other farmers who love what they do is great. Not only is it a support network but it’s a very friendly club as well.”
And as for that journey from soil to spoon: Reynolds’s crops travel a mere 15 miles to a local mill where they are ground into the grains that make up a Kellogg’s cereal. In food miles and production, those grains are ground at their freshest.
For more on the Origins programme, go to https://www.kelloggs.co.uk/en_GB/what-we-believe/the-origins-farmer-programme.html
Watch Charlie’s story: