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Essex cereal bar maker seeks aspiring beekeepers to help them make honey

PUBLISHED: 17:55 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:57 15 October 2018

Eat Natural beekeeper

Eat Natural beekeeper

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A national snack bars and cereals company in Halstead which has been highlighted as one of the area’s top performing businesses is on a drive to find beekepers.

Eat Natural best selling barsEat Natural best selling bars

Eat Natural is one of Britain’s biggest-selling cereal bar brands and the only independently owned cereal bar company in the UK.

Before starting Eat Natural, co-founder Praveen Vijh imported fruit and nuts for a living. In 1996, Praveen and business partner Preet Grewa came up with the idea of bringing together nuts, seeds and dried fruit and eating on the go.

After experimenting on different recipes from their kitchen in Epping, they came up with a date and walnut combination which kick-started Eat Natural.

The company produces two million handmade bars from its factories on Bluebridge Industrial Estate in Halstead each week, and they are exported to 42 countries around the world. Now with 350 employees and a turnover of £19m, Eat Natural produces new products each year which are sold in national supermarket chains including Tesco, Waitrose and Holland & Barrett.

Emma Goodings (left), Head of Economic Development and Planning Policy at Braintree District Council, Councillor Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Braintree District Council, Danielle Putt, Economic Development Officer, Praveen Viji, Cofounder of Eat Natural and Angela Heaney (right), Account Manager at Colchester Institute. Picture: Braintree District CouncilEmma Goodings (left), Head of Economic Development and Planning Policy at Braintree District Council, Councillor Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Braintree District Council, Danielle Putt, Economic Development Officer, Praveen Viji, Cofounder of Eat Natural and Angela Heaney (right), Account Manager at Colchester Institute. Picture: Braintree District Council

As part of a business tour by Braintree District Council, councillors and members of the council’s economic development team paid a visit to the company’s head office this week to learn more about the company, and was able to identify a potential funding opportunity for the business during the visit.

Councillor Tom Cunningham, cabinet member for economic development, said: “To see how much hard work and passion goes into creating each individual product is astonishing and Eat Natural is a prime example of a local business thriving right on our doorstep.”

In 2015, East Natural introduced a pollination initiative that helps raise an army of beekeepers to support honey makers – a special connection to Eat Natural, as the honey helps bind the bars and granolas together.

This year Eat Natural is throwing open the application process to more ‘wouldbees’ than ever, with 100 places available on its “Pollenation” programme.

Eat Natural beekeeperEat Natural beekeeper

People who join the initiative get free training on how to become a beekeeper, bee suits, Eat Natural beehives and all the equipment they need to get started.

To find out more about the initiative, visit www.pollenation.eatnatural.com/bee-keeping-application

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