“Sustainability and quality are the two most fundamental business principals. We aim to maintain the highest quality standards when it comes to sustainably, sourcing and packing our produce. We are delighted to be part of the Origin Green programme as we see this initiative as being key to growth in the Irish food industry.”
Thomas Kennedy, Director, K&K Produce
- Energy consumption to be reduced by 7%.
- Fuel used in transport to fall by 10%.
- Reduction in the number of packaging lines by 15%.
K&K Produce was established in 1984 by Tommy and Deirdre Kennedy, to supply quality fruit and vegetables to the retail network. Now over 30 years on, we employ over 80 staff. We still remain a family business and now Tommy and Deirdre are joined by the next generation, Michael, Thomas and Lisa who are all involved in the daily operations of the business. The business facilities now include chilled storage, washing, grading and prepacking.
Who we are
For over 30 years K&K Produce have been growing, packing and distributing quality produce to retailers nationwide. Today K&K Produce is recognised as one of the leading suppliers of fresh food in Ireland. Our brands are “Kennedy’s” and we also supply retailers under their “own brand”.
Our goal in K&K Produce is to deliver sustainable fresh produce to the Irish retail market all year round. We pride ourselves on sourcing home grown Irish produce and potatoes from our network of farmers and growers nationwide. Our Irish growers are passionate about the food they produce. The entire chain, from grower to distributor, treats our produce with the greatest care to ensure our products meet the highest standard and quality. Product quality, consumer satisfaction and exceeding customer needs are the core strengths of our company.
Our sustainability credentials
Sustainability is rooted in K&K Produce’s company values and it has worked hard over the years to ensure its actions have a positive impact on the environment. This includes steps to reduce packaging as much as possible and, where it is unavoidable, to use recycled materials. The use of reusable plastic trolley bins, for example, has cut the need for outer case packaging, while waste produce is removed by local farmers for use as animal feed. The company is a member of Repak and, before their participation in Origin Green, had carried out a lean review on its energy usage and taken steps to reduce water consumption.
All suppliers are expected to partake in recognised quality schemes and K&K Produce operates under IS.EN.ISO 9001:2008; BRC – Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 6; and Bord Bia Horticulture Quality Assurance Scheme. It is also accredited by the Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association.
Origin Green in action
Through participation in Origin Green, K&K Produce has set itself a range of financial, employee, environmental and reputational goals. Taking 2012 as the baseline year, its Origin Green plan runs from 2013 to 2017. Improved environmental and financial performances will be seen in reduced energy usage and costs; lower paper, waste and associated costs; and a fall in materials used in production.
Targets over the five-year period include: reduced energy consumption by 7%; a fall in fuel used in transport by 10%; a reduction in packaging lines by 15%; and a reduction in the thickness of plastic used by 28%.
Branding and reputational performance will also be improved through Origin Green, with actions providing the basis for improved business relationships, increased competitiveness and stronger market positioning.
A suite of actions in the area of employee engagement aims to deliver improved working conditions and increase productivity. The company aims to increase its social supports by 10% over the five-year period, with a range of actions demonstrating its commitment to corporate social responsibility. Student placements, increased fundraising for charities and support for local sporting associations form part of this initiative.
For National Potato Day 2015, K&K Produce donated a year’s supply of potatoes to the Focus Ireland café in Temple Bar in Dublin. K&K Produce also donates money to Barretstown, which helps the lives of seriously ill children.
What we’re doing better
In 2012, K&K Produce had 91 different lines of packaging in operation. As part of Origin Green, it is reviewing the sustainability of all lines annually, with a view to stopping any non-performing lines and reducing the operating line count by a minimum of 15% by 2017. This will make for a more efficient and streamlined business operation with improved environmental performance.