Shaping the future of potatoes together
Our sustainable journey
P is for Potato
We love potatoes, what more can we say?
From fries to rösti or potato croquettes: developing tasty and high-quality potato products with only the best ingredients is why we get out of bed in the morning. As a close-knit family business, we focus on constant innovation and sustainable growth.
Food safety & quality
Rest assured that we only use the highest quality potatoes. Every single potato is checked in our factories. Only the best make the cut. What’s more: nothing goes to waste. Every single piece of these beauties is processed into röstis, mash, curly fries or another savoury product – depending on the quality of the potato. Our potatoes are grown by local farmers, who are all Vegaplan-certified. And our digital growers portal allows for thorough follow-up and transparent communication.
Nutritional value & consumer health
As we work towards leaner practices, we create products with natural ingredients. We create more Clean Label products and offer a wide range of healthier and more sustainable options, such as oven fries and skin-on potato products.
We take every opportunity to optimize our processes. We always use the latest technologies and we don’t just follow trends, we set them. Our comprehensive investments in R&D allow us to make the difference between “mmm, okay” and “wow, delicious”.
P is for Planet
You can’t have tasty fries without fertile soils and clean air and water
Innovation goes hand in hand with sustainability in everything we do. We use water and energy sparingly, reduce our waste and packaging materials, and choose sustainable transport options whenever possible.
Climate change (incl. carbon footprint, energy and transportation)
To reduce our carbon footprint, we buy our potatoes locally. More specifically: within a 150 km radius from our factories. Is waterway transport an option for our final products? Then we happily save a few trucks! We also cut down on our energy consumption and have installed thousands of solar panels to produce our own renewable energy. In addition, we continuously invest in green heat solutions.
Sustainable agriculture (incl. water use and biodiversity)
Our entire value chain is monitored, from plants to distribution, allowing us to organize our processes as efficiently as possible and reduce any waste. We collaborate closely with our growers to help them work more sustainably – with less water and fertilizer, for example. We also boost the local biodiversity near our production sites by planting native trees and hedges.
Sustainable packaging & company waste
We develop fully recyclable packaging that protects the product quality while using as little material as possible. To minimize the environmental impact of our products, we use recyclable materials and materials with a high level of recycled content without jeopardizing food safety. Any by-products of our production lines are either reused or valorized as energy through fermentation.
Water is a scarce item. But we need lots of it to produce our delicious potato products. How do we go about this challenge? We reduce our overall water consumption by optimizing our processes and reusing wastewater. In Wielsbeke, we even use water from the Leie, thus saving over 1.4 million m³ of city water per year. Furthermore, we monitor and manage our water use in real time through a sophisticated dashboard. If there are any peaks, in just three clicks our employees can find the source, take action and, through this, reduce our overall water consumption.
Efficient use of raw materials
The list of products we offer is long and varied. That’s great for our customers, but it comes with a risk: food waste. That is why we carefully assess the ingredient list of each product, to make sure we use only what we need. Our skin-on products are a perfect example of efficiency: we can make more fries out of one potato, with less energy (no peeling), less by-products (peels), and a higher nutritional value!
P is for People
Our Potatoholics always come first/make us proud!
We care for the health and well-being of our people, invest in safety measures, and offer ample opportunities for training and development. Engaged employees with a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship are treasured by us.
Training & development
Our people drive our organization forward. Because we invest in their development. Young graduates gain experience in different departments through the Young Potatoholics Program. We foster a feedback culture and stimulate our employees to discover their talents and explore new career opportunities.
Employee health & safety
The health and safety of our people are extremely important to us. Our safety policy focuses on management involvement, risk management, safety awareness and training & communication. We aim to eliminate hazards and risk factors and encourage our people to feel responsible for their own safety and that of others.
What do you need to feel happy in your job? That’s what we ask our employees in our well-being campaign ‘Let’s go YELLOW!’. From sports activities to family outings or coaching: our Well-Being Manager watches over everyone’s welfare. There’s a reason “jeunen” (the West Flemish word for ‘enjoy’) is our favorite word!
Engagement & entrepreneurship
Our Potatoholics are loyal to our company and take charge of their own career. We help them find the position that best suits their strengths. Through our new production line in Wielsbeke, they can even take on multiple roles and follow ‘their’ product, for example as an operator or a forklift driver.
P is for Policies
Where transparency meets inclusivity
Strong ethical policies create a positive company culture, based on trust and transparency. They benefit everyone we work with. Of course, our partners, stakeholders and the local communities are not forgotten. Inclusiveness, respect and integrity are key values to us.
Integrity and business ethics
It is our responsibility to work towards a future that is as authentic and delicious as our fries. Sustainability is the next chapter: we want our impact on the business community, society and the environment to be positive.
Without potatoes, Agristo would not exist. And for that beautiful crop, we depend on nature. That’s why we aim to halve the carbon emissions from our purchased electricity and heat. We also want to use less materials and ingredients for our finished products.
Partnerships & innovation
We collaborate closely with our experienced potato growers, because they know their stuff. We’ve also partnered with a green energy producer to develop a heat-distribution grid near our Wielsbeke site. This will convert local non-recyclable wood waste into green electricity and heat. A fantastic way to reduce our ecological footprint.
Stakeholders & local communities
We contribute to the local biodiversity near our production sites by planting native trees and hedges, creating habitats for insects, bees and birds. We also support local socio-cultural and sports organizations and donate surplus produce to food banks in West and East Flanders.
Our sustainability report
This is our third sustainability report. Our first report was initiated by our founders, and the second one was published when the second
generation took over. With this third report, we want to lay a strong foundation for the generations to come, preparing our company for the challenges lurking around the corner.