about doing the right stuff
Doing things properly is important to us and we think it makes our products taste even better.
Since we started making KETTLE® Chips over 30 years ago, we’ve gone above and beyond to make the most delicious treats using 100% real food ingredients. We’re proud of that, but we’re also proud of the things we do at our Norfolk home, on the farms and in the community to minimise our environmental impact and maximise our positive contribution to our community.
From our plans with packaging and our industry-leading supplier relationships to our partnership with local charity and social enterprise The Feed, we’ve gathered some of the need-to-know info here.
In the factory and on the the farm
We don’t send any of our factory waste to landfill, and haven’t since 2009. Waste is recycled, reused or reclaimed as energy. Any unused packaging, for example, is recycled into rigid plastics, which are used to produce things like wheelie bins and benches.
We’ve worked to reduce the energy used to make a bag of KETTLE® Chips by 25% over the last ten years, and we want to cut this even further.
Water is precious, and it is rather important for growing potatoes – it’s why they grow so well here in Britain. We have rain tanks installed for water harvesting, and in the last year alone have reduced our water consumption by the equivalent of over 3 full-sized swimming pools.
Many of the farms who are part of our Kettle Growers Group feed excess energy into the national grid through their windmills and solar panels.
It’s probably no surprise that cooking potatoes produces heat. Rather than letting all that lovely energy go to waste, we recycle this heat to warm our staff facilities when it gets a bit nippy.
Any waste potatoes or crisps from the factory go to animal feed (as long as there are no meat products!). Norfolk pigs are big fans of KETTLE® Chips, we hear.
Our potatoes are 100% British, sourced locally wherever possible. In fact, over 90% of our potatoes come from within 35 miles of the factory.
We’re proud to say that all of our potatoes are grown on British Farms.
In 2016 we established the Kettle Growers Group, which is a collective of local farmers who partner with us to improve our supply chain and potato farming in our area. They meet with us regularly and, together with our consultants, discuss the best potato varieties for our needs as well as best practice to ensure optimum yields.
We work with our farmers on contract terms that work best for them. Whether that’s a one year contract, two year contract or one off purchase, we treat our growers like the individual businesses they are, as well as supporting them to secure investment. Our payment terms allow them to plan for the future and reinvest in technologies for growth.
Different potato varieties are great at different things. Some have high yield for farmers, some use less water, some need very little tending and some are particularly resistant to bad weather. We’re testing out new varieties all the time, and sharing our knowledge amongst the Kettle Grower’s Group to make sure that each harvest has better information available than ever before, maximising yield and potato quality and minimising environmental impact along the way. Win win.
We also offer members of the Kettle Growers Group the option of a ‘seed loan’. This is where we purchase the seed potatoes they sow and they pay us back when they deliver their potatoes later in the season. This helps our Growers with cash flow at a time of year which can be financially difficult.
We partner with local charity The Feed, which helps people at risk of homelessness get off the street and into the kitchen, learning catering and hospitality skills to improve both their employability and sense of self-worth.
A donation is made from each sharing pack of Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup KETTLE® Chips to help fund places within their training academy.
As well as funding, we provide business advice, work placement opportunities to their trainees, and expert advice from our chef, Phil!
The Feed run a social enterprise catering business in the Norwich area, and can cater for meetings and events big and small. Visit their website to find out why this charity is so worthy of our support.
Some of our people have been with us for over 25 years, and it’s something we’re really proud of.
High on our list of priorities is allowing our colleagues the chance to develop, both within their role and into other parts of the business.
We have a number of apprenticeships and believe strongly in developing future talent locally.
Access to training is integral to KETTLE® Chips, and we’re committed to funding further development for our people to support and sustain their career ambitions.
We fully support a move from single use plastic. We have reduced our packaging where possible, 37.5% of the plastic in each sharing pack since 2000, but our ultimate ambition which we are working hard on is to remove single use packaging in its entirety. This is not as simple as it sounds but we are committed to making it happen.
We’re constantly looking into various options including recyclable, biodegradable and compostable packaging; in short, a solution which genuinely makes a positive long term difference.
We are members of the WRAP Plastics Pact, a group made up of retailers and key businesses across the industry committed to eliminating unnecessary single-use packaging, ensuring that 100% of plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 (and if we can get there sooner, we will).
When it comes to compostable alternatives, our current belief is that the options suitable for crisp packaging are only compostable in an industrial composting facility, something which is not within the reach of the everyday consumer. Such facilities require the presence of certain microbes, sustained pressure and heat of up to 60 degrees. Proper collection of compostable waste is simply not in place right now.
Fully biodegradable packaging (with certified sealant, for example) isn’t yet available for crisp packaging.
Unless there is a significant change in UK facilities, or we learn otherwise, we think that a fully recyclable option is our best way forward and allows us to ‘close the loop’.
With the right recycling facilities in place, our current packaging is ‘recycle-ready’ and can be accepted into existing TerraCycle schemes, but the wider UK waste system isn’t set up for kerbside recycling right now. This is something we want to support the recycling industry with. We are also looking into packaging alternatives that might be more easily recyclable, but those that we’re aware of do not fit this bill. We will keep looking.