From their family farm in Lobinstown, County Meath, Meade Potato Company have now been growing, packing and distributing premium quality potatoes, fruit, vegetables, salads and organics over the past five decades.
Philip Meade Sr. first began selling potatoes in the towns around Meath and Louth in 1977 and soon extended to Irish vegetables, and later, to Irish and other fruit. They were the first company to export Irish potatoes abroad by the boatload, and have since initiated shipments abroad of Irish product whenever export market conditions were suitable.
Nestled in the drumlins of the Boyne Valley, the Meade farm and food production facility bears little resemblance to their original family farm. It has grown from a single packing store to include 150,000 sq. feet of packing facilities housing numerous state of the art production lines, with over 500,000sq. ft of loading and distribution space, all of which serve to make the journey from farm to fork as efficient as possible. The next generation of Meades now lead a team of over 240 people.
Having installed a wind turbine and reduced packaging weights significantly in their first plan, Meade Potato Company have entered their second Origin Green plan.
Meade Potato Company operates a Zero Food Waste facility thanks to their effective channelling of visually impaired produce to food processing, community food banks and stock feed. Their advocacy work for food waste prevention has increased and they were awarded the prestigious Repak Award in October 2016 for efforts to promote waste prevention.
To that end, they have launched a Prepared Foods
range to add value and utilise a greater percentage of their crops and they are
now extracting starch from their potato peelings for use in the ingredients
market. They are currently working with FoodCloud to develop a gleaning network
whereby volunteers meet at harvest time to gather any suitable crops left
behind by the harvester for distribution to food charities.
Meade Potato Company intend to focus on healthy eating initiatives over
the course of the next plan. In addition to offering consumers a wider variety
of healthy meal options in their product lines and putting information on
healthy eating on their packaging, they will continue their work with Health
Promotion Units and local communities to promote healthy eating and healthy
lifestyles. They donated approx €5100 of produce last year to groups to promote
Meade Potato Company have set a target of installing a wastewater treatment system on site in order to achieve a 70% reduction in water usage by 2021. The purpose of the wastewater system is to re-circulate the water used in the washing of potatoes which will enable Meade to reduce water consumption.
The system will separate the clay and water. The clay will sink to the bottom of the sediment tank where the water will skim off the top and be re-used in the potato washer. The last washing stage of the potatoes will be washed with potable water to ensure a safe product is entering the food chain.