We sat down with Heartland Chips & Fallgate Farm, an FBA member in the food manufacturing and agriculture industry in New Zealand, to talk about their business and family.
What makes your family business unique?
We’re New Zealand’s only 100 per cent-owned-and-operated potato chip company. What makes us unique is the vertical integration from paddock to packet – meaning that the potatoes used to make our chips are grown on the family farm, Fallgate Farm, and transported a mere 30km down the road to the Heartland Chip factory where they’re sliced, cooked, packaged and distributed to outlets throughout New Zealand.
How many generations are currently in your family business?
Two, with the third generation of grandkids starting to get involved by digging up potatoes for pocket money, just like founder and CEO Raymond Bowan did when he was growing up, which originally sparked his passion for the crop. Also working in the business is daughter Charlotte Bowan as General Manager of Heartland Chips, and son James Bowan as Fallgate Farming Manager. Raymond’s wife, Adrienne Bowan, is co-CEO and is on the company’s board.
How long have you been an FBA Member and what’s the key benefit/advantage of your FBA membership?
We first heard about FBA when we spoke at the NZ Insights Conference in September 2023 and became members shortly afterwards. What struck us at the conference was the opportunity to learn from and connect with other multi-generational family-owned businesses. Even though we may all be from different backgrounds and industries, we can all relate to what it’s like to work in a family business and can learn from each other’s approaches and experiences.
What piece of advice would you offer another family business?
To remember the importance of keeping the communication lines open about what’s happening in the business with all family members, whether they are working directly in the business day-to-day or not, so everyone is aware of what’s happening and can be included in conversations that affect both the business and the family.
Support family business.