Weetabix petition campaign to see county renamed ‘Weetabixshire’ in honour of cereal's farmers
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Makers of Burton Latimer’s best-loved export – Weetabix – have celebrated the famous brand with a tongue-in-cheek petition that could see the area around the factory renamed.
The cereal giant hopes the change.org petition could establish a ‘Weetabixshire’ zone with a 50-mile radius, with the centre point being the Weetabix factory in Burton Latimer.
Three 7ft tall ‘Welcome to Weetabixshire’ signs have been erected in Burton Latimer, and on the edges of St Neots and Rutland to mark the new proposed county lines.
Weetabix, who are up to their typical cheeky antics, have also rebranded Burton Latimer Town Cricket Club to Weetabixshire Cricket Club and Meadowside Primary School in Burton Latimer to Weetabixshire Primary School, bringing the brands affection for its hometown to life and bringing the community together.
Ian Watson, 70, who has been working at Burton Latimer Cricket Club for 30 years, says he has ‘tremendous pride’ after witnessing the installation of the county signs for his newly renamed Weetabixshire Cricket Club, and fully backs the lobby.
Local resident, Victoria Grundy, said: “I live in the local area, and I’d be really proud to be associated with Weetabixshire – l think my friends and family would be too.”
Another local, Tanis Hignall-Bowman, who spotted the signs said she thought they were ‘fabulous’.
Although not everyone is convinced, with one passer-by branding the campaign ‘wrong,’ exclaiming that ‘you wouldn’t rebrand Milton Keynes, would you?’
Steve Battison also rejected the notion, saying: “It’s a cereal box, not a county.”
But that’s not stopping Weetabix, who are campaigning to keep the county and hope to gather more signatures in the coming days to support making Weetabixshire a reality.
To reward the residents of Weetabixshire, the brand is inviting members of the public to get behind the creation of the new county.
As an incentive, 100 people randomly selected to declare their allegiance via the website will receive a free breakfast delivered to their door – terms and conditions apply.
Jim Beaty who farms at Burton Wold, ‘a stone’s throw’ from the factory, produces wheat exclusively for Weetabix and features in the latest publicity campaign.
He told the Northants Telegraph: “I love growing wheat for Weetabix because I believe very strongly in reducing food miles and Weetabix are very, very good at working with their farmers and supporting British farming.”
Jim, 24, inherited the 550-acre family farm three years ago from dad Stuart – making him the latest generation stretching back 175 years to work the land.
The ‘one-man’ operation farmer starts his day getting a taste of the fruits of his own labour with a bowlful of Weetabix chocolate chip Crispy Minis.
He said: “Weetabix is a big deal. People in the area are delighted they are here, but as farmers this campaign also give us the opportunity to educate the population.
"The ‘Weetabixshire’ soil is prime cereal-growing soil. I think the name change should be a permanent change to celebrate British farming.”
Philip Hollobone, MP for Kettering, said: “As a town, we are so proud to be the birthplace of the nation’s favourite cereal, and we are fully behind Weetabix in their campaign to create Weetabixshire – as long as we can be the capital of course.”
Lorraine Rothwell, head of brand at Weetabix, said: “We’re proud to say our sourcing is local and facilitated by our network of incredible farmers, who are the backbone of Weetabix, so we wanted to show it off.
“Keeping our sourcing local means we can support the farming community right here in Northamptonshire, working directly with growers who share our passion for delivering the very best wheat in the most sustainable way.
"Not to mention, sourcing our hero ingredient so close to home cuts down on our own food miles.”
To sign the change.org petition click here.