60 second interview: Cornish Crisp Company sales manager Rachael Clayton

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Potato

60 second interview: Cornish Crisp Company sales manager Rachael Clayton
FoodManufacture.co.uk waylaid Rachael Clayton to talk about the challenges facing the fledgling Cornish handmade crisp producer, which only uses ‘taters’ grown in the county…

On the brains behind the crisps:"Md Sue Wolstenholme thought it was a shame there were no proper Cornish crisps on the market using local potatoes, with most of the harvest here shipped out of Cornwall for use in pasties, but saw the trend towards stocking hand-cooked brands in delis, supermarkets and farmshops."

On the firm’s ambitions:​ "We want to retain our special, niche appeal, and would consider being stocked in, say, local branches of Waitrose, but not in major multiples on a mass scale.

"Stockists include delis, farmshops, hotels and healthfood stores. We’ve been going for 18 months now and although growth has not taken off as quickly as we would have liked, we are attending more trade shows now, and things are picking up. Turnover is probably embarrassingly low in the scheme of things, but it is growing."

On production challenges:"We employ five staff, including a father and son team who make the crisps. Obviously we want to grow, and are nowhere near capacity on our one production line. We use about one tonne of crisps per fortnight, and most of our kit is second-hand, since we bought it from a defunct manufacturing facility in Devon early in 2009."

On partnering charities with each new launch:"The firm wants to launch an unsalted crisp in association with another Cornish charity – for instance, we raised £132 for the Cornwall Community Foundation with our Gratertater cheese and onion flavour – and will do so with each new flavour launch."

On reducing production impact:​ "We source locally wherever we can and try to minimise energy use. Our main waste product is sunflower oil, which we aim to convert to biodiesel, while the potatoes remain unpeeled."

On achieving SALSA accreditation:​ "Some national buyers we spoke to required us to have SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Approved) accreditation, and we hope it will help drive sales and better secure our business future. We’re thrilled to have achieved this since the audit covers production systems, health and hygiene standards."

Related topics: Markets