Quality, Consistency, Reliability, Availability – is that too much to ask from a supplier? These words are something I hear over and over again from chefs and wholesalers. Whether from Brighton to Bangkok, Dublin to Dubai, London to Liverpool, or Runcorn to Riyadh the fundamental expectation of getting the very best produce into kitchens on time, and in good quality, remain.
Taking things for granted is a given in many kitchens. Often, we are prone to believe in schemes that shout hyper-local attributes, but a little research is always a good thing.
Local for Local is irrelevant if it means you are buying your fruit & vegetables from your local greengrocer who has imported baby vegetables and cut cresses from Israel, Kenya or South Africa. Local for local should mean produce grown on British farms, from heritage seeds and close to your proximity. Those do exist, we have some wonderful family run farms in the UK. There should also be no stigma attached to using fabulous imported produce, some produce we simply cannot grow here, and some do it better than we do here. But imported produce should be just that. Fabulous. Well grown, well harvested and well couriered.
Chefs, the majority of your current single use cut cress punnets cannot be recycled. This means more product to landfill. Couple this with the wastage and the calculated costs when a punnet is purchased from a lesser quality outfit (in poorer quality punnets, around one third is used and two thirds are fit for the bin) this becomes quite an expensive garnish.
In 2017 Koppert Cress changed all packaging to fully recyclable, but the team felt there was always room for improvement and innovation. Since 2017, we have gone further and more detailed with our sustainable stories. Today, I can confirm that when a chef receives a box from Koppert Cress, he or she is able to put 100% packaging, and all punnets into the recyclable bin.
Our Punnets are made from rPET and can be recycled again and again. Leading by example, Koppert Cress are confidently way ahead of our peers, breaking convention, investing in the future and protecting the planet
It gives me great pleasure to announce our NEW Top Seal Individual punnets designed specifically for chefs. This punnet can be used as a Gastronorm storage container, it comes with a zero wastage and ten-day shelf life guarantee.
Due to issues with BioPlastics, this is not a route to market we are comfortable to progress with. Whilst the biodegradability of Bioplastics is seen as an ‘advantage’ most need high temperature industrial composting facilities to break down the product, and very few cities have the infrastructure needed to deal with them. As a result, most BioPlastics end up in landfills. What a waste – literally.
The land that is required for Bioplastics competes with food production because the crops that produce Bioplastics can also be used to feed people. The Plastic Pollution Coalition projects that, to meet the growing global demand for Bioplastics, more than 3.4 million acres of land is needed – an area larger than Belgium, The Netherlands and Denmark combined.
Our Koppert Cress Blue punnet is a huge, environmental success story. Firstly, we have reduced the plastic, a great impact on the carbon footprint – but without compromising on the essential food safety quality. rPET is created from recycled materials and our blue punnets can be recycled multiple times.
Koppert Cress are leading the way ahead in sustainability. From the very first discovery of a new cress, through to the delivery of product into your kitchen, Rob Baan and his team have ensured that there is no other cress growing company with sustainable credentials that go as far as Koppert Cress.
Of course, many kitchens do attempt to grow their own cresses, in order to have availability and freshness and perceived sustainability. But it really isn’t that simple. There are several start-ups and vertical farms to help grow foods indoors. For lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers it can be a great initiative.
Growing Microgreens and Cress is a very different matter, so be aware of that. It’s just not the same. There are critical controls needed for Microgreens and Cresses. If you have inconsistent humidity, for example, you can get high levels of Ecoli and Listeria. Not a great marketing plan, and definitely something to avoid. Enter one of our glasshouses in Holland, and you will see just how detailed in light colour and humidity the growing environment needs to be. And different per species too. Don’t go thinking you can just throw a whole different range of cresses and microgreens together in one grower. You really shouldn’t.
The Netherlands is closer to the United Kingdom than Kenya, Israel and South Africa, all our Koppert Cress produce is grown in greenhouses which are the most efficient and effective in the world.
Light is one of most crucial elements for plant growth. The sun’s light which is free spans a broad spectrum from UV through to infrared wavelengths which is the core function of photosynthesis and growth. The sun also heats up the greenhouses in the summer and this heat is gathered and stored in chambers underneath the greenhouses of Koppert Cress and released back during the winter to warm. Our transport system and the output of the Dutch Trucks delivering produce into our UK markets is second to none in efficiency and effectiveness.
Koppert Cress are the world leaders and growers of Micro-Greens, specialities and leaves. We own our own seed production thus guaranteeing traceability of the seedling which is critical for quality control, and keeps our produce disease free and consistent.
Koppert Cress do not compromise. We have established a ‘clean grown guarantee’ with Innovation, Quality, Consistency, Reliability and 99.9% availability all year round.
On a Global platform, the best chefs in the world work with and choose Koppert Cress. As a company, we also support and inspire new talent coming in to the sector. Sustainability also refers to people, of investing knowledge in them, of giving them the tools they need to continue to protect the world we live in.
Koppert Cress have invested in the future by installing Culinary Academies in several culinary training colleges around the UK. To date, we have funded;
- Westminster Kingsway Koppert Cress Academy of Culinary Medicine.
- Loughborough College Koppert Cress Academy of Culinary Gastronomy, Sports & Nutrition
- City of Glasgow College Koppert Cress Academy of Culinary Gastronomy & Innovation.
Within these academies, students embark on a full academic module certificate of achievements and training, the colleges and students become part the Koppert Cress Ambassador programme. Students from level two onwards are encouraged to realise that cresses and microgreens ‘are not the garnish but the ingredient’. They are also trained on nutrition, and technique.
Our ease of communications from our development chef team also offers added value to restaurants, hotel groups, manufacturing, mixologists, and brand corporations. We have all the information, training and support you could ever need, and we are glad to share it with you. Whether a quick phone call, or a day visit to your kitchen to demonstrate how to use the products to your team, Koppert Cress offers something unique and different.
Being the world leading Innovators and growers, our 5 step vision is all about Sustainability, Hospitality, Gastronomy, Food & Health.
Koppert Cress is a family business. Rob Baan, our founder, comes from a farming background and began his company in the early 2000s. Rob has one vision – to grow heirloom, healthy Microgreens packed full of Flavour, Antioxidants and Nutrients from seedlings from all around the world. Protecting nature and preserving health, at the same time delivering the best quality ingredients into the best kitchens in the UK. Rob tells his story through Schools, Culinary Education and Chefs wishing to also make that difference.