Kiwi maestros of marketing Pic’s Peanut Butter have done it again – in the latest power move taking the position of New Zealand’s first solar-powered peanut roastery.
With products sold in supermarkets around New Zealand and offshore in Australia, Asia, the UK, and the US, Pic’s processes around one tonne of peanuts every hour into as as many as 28,000 jars of peanut butter a day. From this week, 486 solar panels on the roof of Peanut Butter World will cover at least 20 per cent of Pic’s energy demand year round, and significantly more during the summer months. That’s enough energy to roast 3.3 million peanuts on a sunny day, or 124,000 jars per month.
Nelson is commonly billed as New Zealand’s sunniest region so the roastery is well placed to take advantage of this natural resource. “Our products are grown by the sun and now they’re processed by the sun too,” says peanut-preneur Pic Picot. The panels are supplied by Sunergy Solar, with Picot predicting that it’ll take 10.3 seconds of sun to produce one jar of Pic’s peanut butter.
Pic’s is also supporting a new horticulture industry in Northland, collaborating with the Ministry for Primary Industries and Plant & Food to grow commercial yields of peanuts in the region. This sits alongside trialling locally-grown almonds in Hawke’s Bay.
“Producing our raw materials locally will hugely reduce our inward freight carbon emissions,” says Picot. “This, coupled with our solar-charged roastery, would be massive for reducing impact on the environment. For now, our solar move at the factory is a huge step in the right direction.”
Picot is committed to making his 100 percent certified renewable energy business as sustainable as possible, with regular audits of the company’s impact as well as its suppliers. Measures have also been taken to reduce water usage, waste and carbon emissions and the company is Climate Positive as well as Zero Carbon certified. Where emissions cannot be further reduced, the company offsets its footprint by contributing to the protection of 4,120ha of forest on Vanua Levu, in Fiji.
With circular economies in mind, Nelsonians can return their peanut butter jars to cut down on packaging. There are free electric car chargers in the car park at Peanut Butter World, and Pic’s donates more than 1500 kilograms a year of not-quite-perfect product to food rescue programmes and to local predator trappers.
“As inhabitants of a planet in peril, we have no choice but to be doing everything we can to reduce our emissions. It is a privilege for us to be making a high-protein plant-based food that is not only shelf-stable and easy to eat, but is also totally delicious,” says Pic.“The journey to climate positive hasn’t been easy and it hasn’t come cheap, but we are counting on our customers to see the value of reducing their reliance on animal protein while supporting a business hell-bent on zero carbon.”