Chip Group more rel­e­vant than ever…

Fam­ily food tra­di­tions based around hot chips can con­tinue due to an em­pha­sis on train­ing and best prac­tice.

NZ Grower - - Chip Group Update - By Kate Un­der­wood, Train­ing & Ed­u­ca­tion Man­ager

There is and al­ways has been an un­de­ni­able link be­tween Ki­wis and their love for hot chips.

From sum­mers on the beach to Fri­day night fam­ily tra­di­tions the love is strong and it shows no sign of slow­ing down. Chips are in­nately cel­e­bra­tory, com­fort­ing and al­most al­ways de­li­cious and for most New Zealan­ders they hold a piv­otal place in hearts, stom­achs and weekly (some­times even daily!) di­ets. As far as snacks go hot chips come up again and again as the unan­i­mous favourite. But with our coun­try in the throes of an obe­sity epi­demic - the im­pli­ca­tions of their extensive con­sump­tion, par­tic­u­larly when poorly pre­pared, has the po­ten­tial for dire con­se­quences and an un­nec­es­sary con­sump­tion of fat.

But the good news is, thanks to the Chip Group, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Over 15 years ago the Chip Group train­ing con­cept was cre­ated by Glenda Gour­ley (Pota­toes NZ) and Ju­dith Morely John (Heart Foun­da­tion) , as a means to im­prove the nutri­tional pro­file of deep fried chips, in­crease the qual­ity of the fish and chip in­dus­try as a whole and keep pota­toes at front of mind for con­sumers.

Fast for­ward to to­day and our con­cept is still the same - to im­prove the health of New Zealan­ders by up­skilling op­er­a­tors to cook bet­ter tast­ing, lower fat chips. But what has changed is an even greater need for our ser­vice and the role it now plays within the NZ food in­dus­try.

With con­sump­tion fig­ures hit­ting around four mil­lion serv­ings of hot chips ev­ery sin­gle week there is no stop­ping our love for deep-fried pota­toes. But con­sumer aware­ness, ex­pec­ta­tion and de­mand for health­ier op­tions is ev­i­dent, and is now at the fore­front of ev­ery pub­lic health cam­paign - as it should be.

By sim­ply con­trol­ling the way in which chips are pre­pared we can sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the to­tal fat con­tent in a serv­ing, and in turn im­prov­ing the health of New Zealan­ders.

Based on our 2013 Mata­mata Town Makeover we know our train­ing works. Dur­ing this case study we proved that 10 op­er­a­tors, who made slight changes to their fry­ing tech­niques, would be able to re­move 1711 kilo­grams of fat from the lo­cal Mata­mata food sup­ply (over one year), which is equiv­a­lent to three trailer-loads full of fat.

Our train­ing con­cept is about small changes that ac­cu­mu­late to big pop­u­la­tion-wide im­prove­ments. Through­out the in­dus­try to­day we see op­er­a­tors, busi­nesses and sup­pli­ers all look­ing at ways to im­prove, broaden their of­fer­ings and pro­vide health­ier al­ter­na­tives.

And luck­ily for us, more of­ten than not, this ends in them seek­ing out our free on­line train­ing ser­vice.

But in or­der to con­tinue to evolve we need a pan-in­dus­try ap­proach from the bot­tom up, con­sumer -driven pres­sure, through to the top down, cor­po­ra­tion com­mit­ments.

If you see an op­por­tu­nity for Chip Group train­ing let us know. Or if you would sim­ply like to learn more about what, how and why we do what we do jump on our web­site and see for your­self. The more im­pact we make the bet­ter for ev­ery­one. That way we can have all our chips and eat them too.

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