Co. Down potato and vegetable processer Mash Direct is attributing its success to an ability to shorten supply lines to an absolute minimum.

Company chief executive Jack Hamilton told Agriland: “All of the products we use are either grown on our own farm or produced by local suppliers. This includes all of the milk cream and butter that we use in producing our mash products.

“This is at the very core of our commitment to sustainability.”

Mash Direct is also telling consumers about its commitment to sustainability courtesy of a unique ECO code system, that now features on all of its packs.

“The system is now being used by ourselves and two other food processing businesses in Northern Ireland: Finnebrogue and White’s Oats,” Hamilton said.

“The ECO scoring system encapsulates the carbon footprint, water footprint and the biodiversity impact of every food line that we produce.

“The scheme is independently monitored by Oxford and Queen’s Universities.”

According to Hamilton, consumers – and particularly young children – want to know about the food they eat and how it is produced.

“This is part of our commitment to customers. And, again, the new ECO scoring system is helping us tell this very important message,” he explained.

Mash Direct

Mash Direct was established by the Hamilton family 20 years ago; the company is synonymous with its founding ‘mash potato’ convenience product line.

The company’s annual turnover is now in the region of £25 million. It is currently producing 52 retail and 100 food service products.

The business exports to customers around the world, including the Middle and Far East.

“Our products now feature in 9,500 outlets around the world,” Hamilton continued.

“We are selling one product pack per second. Consumers want convenience. This was confirmed very clearly during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

“During these periods, people had lots of time to prepare food in their own homes. However, despite this, the demand for convenience food products continued to rise.”

The Mash Direct management team makes no secret of the fact that consumers want value for money.

“But the quality of the food they eat is critically important in this context as is its heritage,” Hamilton stressed.

“We can produce all the food products in the world. But this counts for nothing if we can’t sell them. This is why communicating with consumers is so important.

Mash Direct recently hosted a visit for members of the Northern Ireland Association of Agricultural Science.