Sustainability – fertile ground for the future.
We are one of the first German companies in the potato sector to follow strict principles of sustainability. In keeping with our longstanding traditions as a German potato processor and our rural roots, we have developed our Sustainability Agenda, a trendsetting program, founded on a love of nature, that is consistently guided by the principles of sustainable production of innovative products using high-quality ingredients. The “Aus gutem Grund” (Healthy Farms) logo sums it up: assured quality, sustainable German farming practices, and top-quality potatoes for your enjoyment – that’s our guarantee.
Integrated farming system.
In our unique, sustainable approach to potato farming, the entire process chain comes from a single source, from growing the seed potatoes to propagation, planting, growing, the harvest, and storage, all the way through to the preparation of the final brand-name products. Our crop is ensured by our own farms, which occupy more than 7,000 ha, and by our approximately 400 contract farmers in Germany. The farm space is located in the immediate area of our two home production locations, in Aldrup and Oschersleben. Our contract farmers are subject to the same stringent principles and controls and receive training from agricultural engineers, so they share in our integral commitment to sustainable farming. New methods of soil and energy management, adjusted fertilization, varied crop rotation, environmentally friendly recycling, and conservation of natural resources and natural landscapes round out our farming system, which is unprecedented in scope and has been setting the benchmark for over 40 years.
In our production operations, we are constantly at work on improvements to reduce CO2 emissions, conserve energy, reduce water consumption, minimize noise pollution, and conserve resources. We cover about 90% of our energy needs with natural gas, currently the most environmentally friendly of all the fossil fuels available. We operate our own power plant to generate electricity from gas, with the excess heat produced during the process used to run a steam boiler. The advantage of this method is that it eliminates the need to produce the steam we need for production, which takes a lot of energy; this cuts our CO2 emissions by about 50%. We also have one of the most state-of-the-art cooling centers in Europe: Optimized process flows enable us to substantially reduce emissions even as we save large quantities of water.
Use of waste materials
We operate our own three-stage wastewater processing system that is able to process 99.9% of the wastewater we generate. In addition, the waste materials generated during production undergo subsequent processing, for instance so that they can be made into high-quality plant-based animal feed. Commercial waste, such as paper, cardboard, foil, wood, and metals, is collected, separated, and sent for recycling.
Improved ecological bottom line and dialogue.
The short distances the crops travel from the farm to the production facility further improve our ecological bottom line. But that’s not all: Perfect utilization of volume capacity in our trucks, and our policy of no empty truck runs, contribute as well.
At the same time, we ask our customers and suppliers to engage with us in a close dialogue so that we can learn from each other and put each other’s thoughts into practice. This way, our agenda can serve as a role model, further stressing the absolute necessity of sustainable operations – from an economic, social, and environmental perspective alike.