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A case study outlining how Emyr Hughes, an enterprising Conwy Valley farmer is reaping the rewards of tasting wholemeal bread and digestive biscuits made by his local bakery using his own wheat grain milled flour thanks to the assistance of Cywain, delivered by Menter a Busnes.

Emyr Hughes, an enterprising Conwy Valley farmer is reaping the rewards of tasting wholemeal bread and digestive biscuits made by his local bakery using his own wheat grain milled flour thanks to the assistance of Cywain, delivered by Menter a Busnes. The project operates throughout Wales and is funded through the Supply Chain Efficiency Scheme of the Rural Development Plan.

This was the first time that Emyr from Cae Melwr, Llanrwst attempted to grow wheat. He’s delighted at how successful the venture turned out and that his products are made and sold at Scilicorns a family bakery in Llanrwst just a few miles from the farm. 

“Because of the area’s climate, wheat isn’t traditionally grown in the Conwy Valley,” 

Cywain Development Manager, Alwen Eidda explains.

“Here at Cywain we’ve certainly not heard of a farmer who’s followed the whole process from beginning to end. Emyr has grown high standard wheat, milled the grain to produce flour and then sold the flour to his local bakery to produce delicious products to be sold in the bakery shop – it’s quite an achievement! It’s a very unusual venture and we are pleased to be able to assist to further market the produce which is also sold at farmer’s markets in Conwy and Anglesey.”

The wheat field stands on one side of Llanrwst with the bakery on the other side of the market town. Food miles are minimal and it can certainly be labelled as local food. Emyr had originally planned to sow spring wheat, but, winter wheat was delivered to his farm in error. Emyr had to plant the seeds quickly, before the weather turned. But the error proved a blessing in disguise.

“I was unsure if the crop would succeed or not,” 

explains Emyr. 

“The crop was very slow to establish but once the warmer weather arrived the crops developed well.”

The crop was harvested in August, and after it had dried, samples were sent away to test its quality. A specific quality is needed for bread flour compared to wheat flour usually grown to feed farm animals over the winter months. A good level of protein and gluten is needed in the grain to make bread flour. Baker, Anthony Griffiths worked with Emyr to develop appropriate recipes for the new produce. 

Anthony said, 

“It was great to receive the first sample of flour and to see how well it baked. We traditionally import flour, as large scale wheat production is difficult in our climate. We experimented with the ingredients and decided to include some white flour into the wholemeal flour mix to ensure the perfect dough. The taste is second to none, and takes us back to the traditional form of bread making using natural ingredients.”

For more information: www.cywain.com