The (not so) humble potato used to make our unique Georges chip.
What makes a Georges chip so special? Well, let us explain.
It involves a lot of committed people to deliver our unique chip year after year, in fact the George’s chips used in our shops today have been in the planning for well over 12 months. The process involves continual collaboration between the following team of people;
George’s management and staff
Our purchasing agent
The seed specialist
Our farming partners
The agronomists (posh word for a ‘crop doctor’)
Other technical consultants
The pursuit for the perfect potato always starts the previous year when we select British seed potatoes. We source seed from all over the British Isles and only select the very best Maris Piper available. These seed potatoes, picked for their quality and ancestry in delivering the very best potatoes will be planted at the beginning of the season and will eventually produce all the potatoes Georges use that year.
Our agent and the partnerships we have with the farmers (built over ten years), allows us unrivalled influence over the growing and quality of our potatoes. Between this partnership and the expertise of the agronomist, we continually monitor and test the crop to manage its progress. Decisions are made on the planting/rotation of the crop, soil type and planting locations, how often the crop is watered and during this process we also decide when we have the ideal conditions to harvest (or lift) the crop to ensure we receive the perfect potato. Even though conditions are down to nature, the farmer can give a little ‘helping hand’ using sampling to influence things such as when to and how often the plants need to be watered. The farmer needs to plant between 85-100 acres of potatoes for George’s per year.
The lifting of the potatoes is done by second and third generation farmers using state of the art equipment, designed to be as gentle as possible with the potatoes to ensure the crop isn’t bruised or damaged when it is removed from the soil. During lifting and grading our potatoes are inspected by hand to ensure they have achieved the Georges specification on quality.
Our potatoes are then kept in temperature-controlled stores, built especially for George’s potatoes. These stores are electronically monitored every minute of every day to maintain both humidity and the ideal storage temperatures. Once in storage the potatoes are tested every few days to ensure quality is maintained.
Georges calls off a weekly order from this store and they are delivered into our central production/temperature-controlled storage facility. Every load comes with its own testing/specification and traceability sheet. This load is then re-tested by ourselves against the specification (including a fry test at one of our sites) before being used. The central production unit continue to sample and monitor these potatoes daily for taste, fry colour, sweetness and fluffiness.
We are after all trying to produce a consistently great George’s chip and are never short of volunteers wanting to do the taste test!
It takes a tremendous amount of planning and care to produce a Georges chip and to us the ‘humble’ potato shouldn’t be regarded as being so humble after-all.