McCain Foods
    Florenceville-based McCain Foods Ltd. is cutting its potato sourcing in New Brunswick by 20 to 30 per cent to respond to lower demand for french fries and other market issues.

    Weaker U.S. fry consumption, a high loonie, competition from low-priced European spuds and leftover 2009 crop are behind the company's move to cut back this year on contracts with farmers in the province and across the rest of Canada, too.

    McCain spokeswoman Calla Farn said all the farmers with whom the company contracts in New Brunswick for its Florenceville and Grand Falls processing plants will be affected, declining to give the volume of potatoes at play, for competitive reasons.

    McCain Foods did not make cuts to its sourcing in New Brunswick last year, which led to the carryover in crop.

    "Softness in U.S. consumption, the high Canadian dollar, and the low cost of raw potatoes in Europe have all had an impact on the current situation, which is affecting the entire North American potato industry,"Farn said.

    She said the decline in demand is primarily affecting the company's export market and expectations remain strong for Canada.
    Mary Keith, spokeswoman for Cavendish Farms, said the firm plans to cut its purchasing volume overall by two per cent this year.

    "We have one supplier to our P.E.I. plant that is New Brunswick-based and they are not impacted by volume reductions we are undertaking on the Island,"Keith said.