Our world

Our journey from a husband and wife team selling home baked oatcakes in Rutherglen, Scotland, to one of our country's best known independent food companies would have been beyond even the wildest dreams of Mr and Mrs Paterson as they started out in 1895.  

Our world was a very different place then, and our company had a different look, but we have retained the pride in our products and sense of responsibility that has served well for over 120 years. By retaining the best of the past, combined with the best of today, we can play a part in helping secure a brighter future.

Today, our master bakers combine traditional methods with today's technology and resources to make some of your favourite products. Our success is built on a simple formula: quality food from clean, sustainable ingredients.

Our business is certainly bigger than it was in 1895. We have grown to be the number 1 shortbread brand in Britain and send millions of biscuits, oatcakes and Arran jars across the globe.  Since 2006 our output has increased by over 80% to meet growing demand.  While, naturally, we are pleased with the growth we understand that with it comes responsibility.  That's why each year we support a wide range of charitable and community activities and in 2016 we began our partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support with the aim of raising £100,000 for them through sales of Paterson's Shortbread by summer 2017. So far are well on track to meet the £100,000 target.

And it's why for a great many years we have pursued projects to address our impact on the world around us. We care about the environment and are committed to achieving sustainability across our business to help protect the planet for future generations. Easy words perhaps, but set out below are a range of the actions we have taken to support our commitment.

- removing palm oil from our oatcake range in 2002 and many other products since then.  Where we do still use any palm oil it comes exclusively from RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) sources.  We are lifetime members of the Orangutan Foundation. By the way, if you're wondering who the yellow fellow in the pictures is, he's called Tangy.  Working with the Foundation, to help draw attention to the effect of irresponsible palm oil plantations on the home of the orangutan, we commissioned renowned Scottish artist Lex McFadyen, to design and paint the full size Tangy sculpture.  After helping out at the bakery Tangy was successfully auctioned to raise funds for the Foundation.

- cutting down on waste. Between 2006 and 2016 we reduced the amount of general waste we generated by 65%, and since 2014 none of it goes to landfill.  Instead it is used to generate electricity.  

- all of our food production waste is recycled for animal feed.

- reducing the energy used to make each tonne of our product by 24% between 2006 and 2016

- reducing the water used to make each tonne of our product by 51% between 2006 and 2016

- total reduction in water consumed of 17% between 2006 and 2016

We have been awarded, and retained since 2009, the prestigious ISO14001 accreditation for environmental management, been commended at the VIBE Scotland awards (Vision in Business for the Environment) and had customer recognition for our environmental work.

At the 2017 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards we were delighted and honoured to win the Environmental Sustainability Award.

We hope you'll agree that our past actions demonstrate our commitment however we believe more can be done - and we intend to do it. That's why we have set ourselves firm targets for future improvements. For example by the end of 2017 we aim to cut our waste generation yet further - by 68% versus the 2006 baseline.

Watch this space!