UB challenged EFFP to find a group of farmers that could supply quality crisiping potatoes directly to their Teeside manufacturing plant making McCoy’s crisps. 10 farmers were found within the catchment area of the factory capable of delivering the volume and quality UB required. Importantly, EFFP was also able to advise the farmers on an appropriate structure and finance for the new farmer owned business, United Potato Farmers Ltd.
THE BUSINESS CHALLENGE
Securing a sustainable supply of the right quality crisping potatoes is important for UB to maintain the right look, taste and texture of crisp for their McCoy’s brand. But growing crisping potatoes requires a large amount of investment, particularly in infrastructure and storage and supplies can be volatile owing to the impact of the weather. UB therefore identified the value in working with the supply base to increase security of supply and manage price risk. They asked EFFP to help achieve this.
HOW WE HELPED
The first challenge was to find the farmers. EFFP utilised its local knowledge to find a group of farmers that could supply the right volumes and quality of crisping potatoes and were comfortable with supplying UB directly.
The second challenge was to establish and develop a relationship between the farmers and UB. EFFP played an on-going advisory role which involved organising and facilitating a series of meetings to challenge both parties on how the chain might work more effectively and what the different roles should be to make this happen. One critical area was price certainty. EFFP worked with the growers, UB and Cranfield School of Management to develop a pricing model for the crisping potatoes.
The farmers were also keen to crystallize their own structure by establishing a new business called United Potato Farmers Ltd. EFFP’s expertise helped the farmers establish the right business structure, employ the necessary management and also secure grant funding to invest in the necessary infrastructure for managing the supply of crisping potatoes.
“Building strong links with our farmer suppliers is important to us and EFFP have helped establish a unique and valued supply chain with them.”
Group Procurement Director, United Biscuits