McCain Foods confirmed that layoffs have occurred at its Carberry potato processing plant in an email sent by the company to the Sun on Wednesday.
Last week, the Sun reported that United Food and Commercial Workers Local 832, which represents workers at the plant, was aware of layoffs at the facility.
The company did not mention how many layoffs have occurred at the plant.
Danielle Barran, McCain Foods Canada:
“Our first priority is the safety of our employees, their families, and our communities and we fully support public health measures to help control the spread of COVID-19, though these closures in the restaurant and hospitality outlets are having a significant impact on our business.”
“Unfortunately as a result of this, we have had to make some very difficult decisions.”
Also in the email, McCain said that it is worried about the decrease in demand for potatoes from the food-service industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Beyond the temporary impact to employees, McCain is also concerned about how this decrease in market demand will impact over 130 potato grower partners across the country, with more than a quarter in Manitoba.”
Barran said that the company is looking to find solutions for the excess potatoes from the 2019 growing season, including reducing demand for the 2020 crop season.
McCain has committed to donating 20 million pounds of surplus potatoes to food banks and other food security organizations across the country.