McCain Foods USA has announced it will invest more than USD 200 million into expanding its Burley, Idaho potato processing plant, creating 180 jobs and increasing potato production throughout the state.
The company will construct additional buildings behind its existing facilities, according to Burley City Administrator Mark Mitton.
It’s certainly the largest company expansion Burley has seen in years, and is a significant capital investment to come before the Idaho Department of Commerce for a tax reimbursement incentive.
Megan Hill, Idaho Commerce spokeswoman:
“The McCain Foods project is the largest capital investment we have received in an application.”
The company will receive a 30-percent reimbursement of taxes over 15 years, totaling $5.86 million.
Sample of the frozen french fries McCain Foods USA offers in retail
Construction will begin this month, Idaho Commerce said in a statement. The new capacity will be up and running in late summer 2018.
Doug Manning, Burley’s Economic Development Director:
“This is the type of thing that can happen when everyone sits down together and can make it happen.”
“Statewide, we’ve made a commitment to McCain Foods, and McCain Foods will make a commitment to the state.”
The city began working with McCain Foods’ team late last year, and the state incentive was granted in December.
The new production capacity for frozen french fries will require another 15,000 acres of potatoes to be grown per year from eastern Idaho to the Oregon border, Mitton said.
“We’re very happy they decided to build a new plant in Burley.”
“It’ll be good for the farmers — more contracts there.”
Over 20 years, the state’s gross domestic product will be enhanced an estimated $560 million. And aside from the new jobs at the facility, the entire project will drive 380 new jobs, the state announced.
State and local performance-based incentives over 20 years total about $20 million.
Brad Little, Lieutenant Governor of Idaho
“Between construction activities, employment at the plant, and the sourcing of local supplies throughout our Idaho potato farmers, there’s no question that the economic impact of McCain’s investment will help expand our solid economic base throughout Southern Idaho.”
McCain Foods had put plans for an expansion on hold in 2014, but instead moved forward with $40 million improvements to its existing production lines.
Sample of the frozen french fries McCain Foods USA offers to foodservice
Jeff DeLapp, North America Regional President McCain Foods:
“In 2016, we reviewed all of our North America sites and narrowed the potential for expansion to a handful that could best help us meet the growing demand for McCain products.”
“In the end, we chose Burley due to its proximity to quality potatoes, availability of skilled workforce, and strong community and state level support.”