On Friday last week, 22nd November 2019, White’s Oats were awarded Best Breakfast Product for their ‘White’s Organic Jumbo Oats’ at the Quality Food and Drink Awards in London.
Five years ago Organic Arable and White’s initiated a programme of work to improve the quality of the organic oats being supplied to Whites. This has involved a research programme, trials and knowledge transfer activity to help Organic Arable farmers produce the highest quality oats. The farmers now talk a different language of ‘hullability’ and ‘marketable yield’ as they seek to learn how to grow better quality oats.
Organic farmer, Peter Cheek said. “I like growing oats as they are a reliable crop and fit well in our system but it wasn’t too many years ago they seemed to go for feed. It seems perfect sense to work with our customer to understand what they need and do our best to grow it. And it works and every year we’ve achieved a premium because we grow what our customer wants.”
“Everyone’s hard work and the changes our farmers have implemented have paid off.” says Organic Arable Managing Director Andrew Trump. “Oats used to be something of a poor relation to other cereals and quality was variable. Focusing on what Whites require and producing oats to tighter than normal specification has not always been easy, but clearly this effort means our oats have improved the quality of the Jumbo Organic Oats Whites produce”, he went on.
“We have developed an innovative approach which rewards growers for the quality of the oat sample they produce and our farmers are focussed on not only growing the best oats they can but also on ensuring they are well conditioned post-harvest. Farmers are rewarded through a pricing mechanism that pays premiums for higher quality oats as is the case for milling wheat.”
Organic Arable’s Chair, farmer Sophie Alexander also commented: “Organic Arable want to say many congratulations to the Whites team and our brilliant farmers that are involved in this supply chain. It isn’t often, as an arable farmer, that you know exactly what food product your grain is destined to become and I know our farmers take pride in knowing that their grain ends up in the Whites Organic Jumbo Oats bag. I love cooking my morning porridge knowing they could be my oats.”
“We are extremely proud to have developed this relationship and we are excited to see how it will thrive in the coming years. We still need more organic oat growers and so would be delighted to hear from organic farmers who would like to grow for us so they too can boast they grow award winning organic oats”.
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