“We wanted to apply the same commitment we have to working with local suppliers and local produce in New Zealand in the Australian context.”
Proper Crisps worked with an agronomist and local farmers in Australia trialing potato varieties as the iconic Agria potato it uses in New Zealand is not commonly grown in Australia. Trials were scaled up and cooks managed from New Zealand, with crisps airfreighted back for taste testing in New Zealand before being released for sale in Australia. Australian-based staff were trained to oversee the entire crisp manufacturing process by hand, just as it is done in Nelson.
“The people who make our crisps in New Zealand and now in Australia are chefs of real food not button pushers,” says Andy. “They work hard to capture the perfect thickness, cook, crispness factor and Proper flavours.
“The link between the Australian and New Zealand teams will remain strong as our owners and members of our New Zealand leadership team are spending time in Australia running production and supporting the Australian team this year. We will also be bringing lead staff in Australia to Nelson to reinforce our shared culture of doing things the Proper way.”
The establishment of the Yarra Valley manufacturing operation is a courageous move, particularly in the current context of huge economic disruption due to the global pandemic. However Andy says that in many ways Covid gave them the push they needed to secure the future of their Australian business.
“Covid-related supply chain disruptions coupled with increased demand for our product in Australia gave us the impetus we needed to take this next step.
“We hope that we inspire other business owners to be just bold,” says Andy. “Being brave in the face of adversity will be the key to recovery for us all. We believe that consumers will support brands who are willing to take the initiative at a time like this