McCain Foods Canada investments in Carberry plant supported by government

Aerial impression of the McCain Foods (Canada) potato processing plant in Carberry in July 2015 (Courtesy: Gordon Goldsborough)

Canada's Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn have announced an investment of nearly $380,000 for the McCain Foods potato processing plant in Carberry to increase efficiency, reduce waste and support the sustainable growth of Manitoba’s potato industry.

The governments’ investment, provided under Manitoba’s Growing Forward 2 - Growing Value program, will be used to install new and innovative equipment at the McCain Foods Canada facility in Carberry. The plant processes about 430 million pounds of Manitoba-grown potatoes every year, mostly into french fries. The upgrades will reduce potato and canola oil waste by 900,000 pounds and 800,000 pounds per year, respectively.

The governments’ investment represents half of the total equipment cost. McCain Foods Canada has invested more than $30 million in other upgrades to the Carberry facility over the last 10 years, including a $23 million waste water upgrade. This potato processing plant employs about 220 people, with another 10 positions to be created over the next three years as a result of the new equipment.

Manitoba is Canada’s second-largest potato producer behind PEI, supporting 120 potato growers and employing 1,500 full-time and casual workers. In 2013, 70,000 acres of potatoes were grown in Manitoba valued at about $192 million. About 80 per cent of potatoes processed in Manitoba are exported to the United States, making this crop a valuable trade commodity.

The Growing Value program provides financial assistance to existing agri-businesses that need to make changes to adapt to market forces and environmental considerations, to increase their ability to compete in domestic and international markets.

The federal and provincial governments are investing a total of $176 million in cost-shared programming in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.

Lawrence MacAulay, Federal Agriculture Minister

“The Government of Canada recognizes that Canadian food processors must continually adapt and upgrade to remain competitive. This investment will help Manitoba potato processors deliver innovative food grown in sustainable ways to Canadians and global consumers.”
Ron Kostyshyn, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister

“This strategic investment is good news for the community of Carberry and for the future of Manitoba’s potato industry. Reducing waste and increasing efficiency will help ensure Manitoba-grown potatoes continue to be a top choice for processors and consumers.”
Minister Kostyshyn noted this investment also supports the Manitoba government’s goal of creating a $5.5 billion food processing industry by 2022, which is currently valued at $4.95 billion.

Dean Melnic, plant manager, McCain Foods, Carberry.

“In order to stay competitive, it’s important to have equipment that runs efficiently, allowing maximum productivity and minimal waste.”

“We export 80 per cent of the products we make at our plant, so investments in equipment help support our employees, local growers, and the surrounding communities.”
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