THE HISTORY OF JORDANS
Holme Mills, the home of Jordans cereals, had been in the Jordans family since 1855. But it was a chance encounter at a festival in America in the 1970’s that truly brought the mill to life.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN...
Holme Mills is set on the banks of the River Ivel in Bedfordshire in the English countryside. The mill appears in records as far back as 1086 and was rented by the Jordans family in the 1800’s and eventually bought by them in 1855. A huge fire in 1894 saw the place gutted but fortunately the family managed to restore it while also introducing a more efficient roller system that meant the process retained more of the goodness of the grain.
CHALLENGING TIME IN THE 1900’S
Despite surviving the fire, the great depression and two world wars it wasn’t easy for the Mill. Production was changing, mills were fast going out of fashion as industry wanted cheaper and more efficient mass production in factories. The mill was facing closure, but a brainwave by William ‘John’ Jordan saw the Mill diversify from just flour to animal feed products. However, this proved to be just a temporary solution and once again in the 1960s the mill was facing new challenges. At this stage John’s two sons, Bill and David, were old enough to join the family business and were trained as flour millers.
THE ROAD TO DISCOVERY
Despite being trained as a miller, Bill initially had other ideas (it was the sixties, after all!). For four years, he traveled the world as a drummer in a rock and blues band. While hitchhiking across America, he became fascinated by the growth of the health food movement. Bill’s milling instincts came to the fore in 1969 when he discovered a crunchy breakfast cereal being sold in health food shops. It was made by toasting honey and oats together with other natural ingredients.
THE BROTHERS INTRODUCED GRANOLA TO THE UK
Bill was convinced that the idea would go down well at home – who could resist a great tasting whole grain cereal that offered all the deliciousness that other producers were taking out? Bill brought some granola home to his brother David and together they set about on a mission to convert Britain to whole grain and to enjoying an amazing whole grain granola. They bought a second-hand oven from an old bakery and converted it to toast the cereal. In 1972, the brothers created their own version of granola called “The Original Crunchy” and then tirelessly toured country fairs selling it to a fast-growing group of converts until it was eventually taken up by health food shops and enlightened supermarkets.
The rest is history, as the saying goes! Since those early days, Bill and David’s original idea has gone from strength to strength. Canadians have been enjoying our cereals since 1989 and today the company makes more than 30 different healthy, natural and delicious cereals that are enjoyed by people in over 30 countries!
GOOD FOOD COMMITMENT
Having a positive impact on the British countryside is ingrained (no pun intended!) in everything we do at Jordans. We work with our farmers to improve the environmental quality and commercial sustainability of the farms that supply our grain – we try to give back more than we take out. We’re also passionately committed to reducing the negative impacts of our production process, such as cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions. As a food manufacturing business we understand the impact that we have on our local environment; so with devotion to our Good Food Commitment, we’ll always strive to reduce the impact that we have on our surroundings. Our wonderful people have been instrumental in delivering a range of improved operational efficiency measures to help us achieve this at our bakeries. We’re also really proud to say that we don’t send any waste to landfill and our delicious ingredients that come from overseas, such as Brazil nuts, are all sea freighted to cut down on carbon emissions.
We’re committed to supporting local, responsible farming. Jordans started selling organic cereals in 1972 and since 1985 have worked with British farmers to manage their land specifically for wildlife. To this day, our farmers ensure 10% of their land is set aside for a range of different wildlife habitats, in effect creating huge nature reserves to help creatures like birds, bees and butterflies thrive. On these special farms we aim to grow all the oats, wheat and barley that we need to make the delicious breakfast cereals and cereal bars that we sell. Through our work, we’ve won some fabulous awards for our approach to sustainable farming, including a Waitrose Way award, but the real reward is being able to walk across one of these special farms and see the wonderful range of wildlife that live alongside the oats, wheat and barley that farmers are growing for us.