CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY Proud British entrepreneurs continue to innovate even after Brexit Spectacle frames made from French-fry waste Chip(s) Board makes thermoplastic from potato peel that can be used for 3D printers, among other things. We can use it to make our own designs, such as these spectacle frames, Rob Nicoll shows. A stand with spectacle frames, that attracts attention in the corridors of a potato show. What are you guys doing here? Is our question for exhibitor Rob Nicoll. ‘Our company is called Chip(s) Board’, as he hands over a business card with the company’s name in bold red letters. ‘Chip(s) refers to the material from which we make our design products, and that’s potato peel. My partner Rowan Minkley and I both studied industrial design. After graduating, we came up with the plan to start our own business. We wanted to start working with waste products and we were looking for a suitable raw material. Through the grapevine, we came into contact with Nick Vermont, now ex CEO of French-fry manufacturer McCain. He showed us the peel waste, which might just be what we were looking for. And that’s what we’ve been working on. We’re now making Parblex from potato peel. This is the patented name for the organic thermoplastic that we produce from it. Thermoplastic can be used for 3D printers, among other things. We can use it to make our own designs, such as these spectacle frames. The beauty of peel waste is that it has a special texture and colouring. You can tell at a glance that it’s a natural material,’ says the designer enthusiastically. High time for a British label The Mercian stand will not have escaped the attention of visitors to British Potato because the entire stand crew walked around in neat waistcoats that were printed all over in the colours of the national flag. ‘Are you trying to make a statement? ’, was our straight question to Managing Director Phillip Kemp. ‘I need to be very careful with my answer now’, he laughs, pointing to the journalist from Europe, armed with pen and paper. ‘No, this is by no means intended as an antiEurope campaign, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s high time, though, to start promoting our national products in the best possible way’, reacts the enthusiastic foreman of the group of British potato growers who sell their potatoes under the name Mercian. ‘In all the years of working together with Europe, we’ve completely forgotten to bring our carefully cultivated potatoes proudly to the attention of the consumers. Whether it’s ‘It’s high time to start promoting our national products in the best possible way,’ says Phillip Kemp (with statuette) with all his heart. 36 Potato World 2020 • number 2 Pagina 35

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