McCain Foods and partners launch a regenerative agriculture program in Poland to support potato gowers

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McCain Foods with the support of BNP Paribas Bank Polska, launches a unique regenerative agriculture program in Poland

May 27, 2024

McCain is proud to join forces with BNP Paribas Bank Polska to launch today a new and exciting regenerative agriculture program in Poland, built on a transition package to support potato growers on their sustainability journey.

McCain is supporting Polish potato farmers in their transition to more sustainable agriculture practices, with a range of actions including technical, commercial and financial support. The project is launched in partnership with BNP Paribas Bank Polska, the leader in supporting green transformation in Poland. 

Potato farmers are facing increasing challenges that include climate change, variable and unpredictable weather, rising input costs, and regulatory uncertainty. McCain is partnering with farmers to transform the way potatoes are grown using regenerative agriculture practices.

The framework McCain has developed globally is an ecosystem-based approach to farming that aims to improve farmer resilience, yield, and quality. This is done by improving soil health, enhancing biodiversity, and reducing the impact of synthetic inputs.

Potato farmers in Poland will be eligible to take part in this new program, which is part of McCain’s global commitment to implement regenerative agricultural practices across 100% of its potato acreage worldwide by the end of 2030.

Leslie Camus, Vice President Agriculture at McCain Europe:
 

"With potato yields decreasing all across Europe and more extreme climate events, Regenerative Agriculture is not a passing trend : it is a matter of resilience for our entire supply chain. It is McCain's duty to build a robust de-risking package to engage our grower partners into the transition and secure our long term supply, while decarbonizing and preserving ecosystems, biodiversity, soil health."

The project is supported by BNP Paribas Bank Polska, the leader in green transformation in Poland where its sustainable financing at the end of Q3 2023 amounted to PLN 8.9 billion, or 9.8% of the bank's total loan portfolio.

BNP Paribas BP has also helped a number of industries to open up to green transformation and took part in the largest transaction under the Sustainable Development Goals (SLL) linked formula on the Polish market - for Polsat Plus Group, worth more than PLN 10 billion.

Szymon Bielawa, Director, Head of North America Corporates Coverage at BNP Paribas Bank Polska:
 

"We are proud to enter a partnership with McCain, one of the global leaders in the sustainable transition of the food value chain. The cooperation between BNP Paribas and McCain will be multidimensional."

"Thanks to our global presence and expertise we proved our strength in cooperation with multinational corporates. The unique solutions allow to support banks’ clients worldwide and spread the competence on each local market. The footprint of BNP Paribas Group enables clients to reach sustainability goals globally."

Technical support

McCain, together with its independent agricultural expert, Jerzy Prochnicki Ph D, will guide and train a first group of farmers in areas such as soil life, organic matter, cover crop management, crop diversification, biodiversity enhancement. BNP Paribas Bank Polska will, together with McCain, will sponsor the technical training and support of growers for a period of 3 years.

Jerzy Prochnicki:
 

"Regenerative agronomic practices are the basis for restoring and further increasing soil fertility and producing high-quality food in a cost-effective way, especially for a demanding crop such as potatoes. Moreover, the regenerative agronomic practices will make it possible to store in soil excess carbon from the atmosphere and stop the climate catastrophe."

Commercial support

McCain will offer a unique three-year contract on a voluntary basis for farmers willing to engage in the regenerative agriculture journey, to reward and support their efforts in this transition. This contract will include a premium in zloty per ton of potatoes delivered coming from regenerative agriculture fields.

Financial support

McCain will work in partnership with BNP Paribas Bank Polska to support growers in their transition. The partnership will provide a whole range of financial support measures to farmers joining the regenerative agriculture program, including a discounted interest loan to assist them in transitioning to regenerative farming practices. The McCain agreement with BNP Paribas Bank Polska runs over a three-year period.

Roman Majchrzycki, agriculture manager at McCain Poland:
 

"After the successful roll-out of McCain Regenerative Agriculture programs in France and the Netherlands, I am proud we are now launching our program in Poland, to support the sustainability of supply and strengthen the collaboration with our farmers."

Elżbieta Bugalska, Food & Agri Strategic Clients Director at BNP Paribas Bank Polska:
 

"We are proud to join with McCain, one of the global leaders in the sustainable transition of the food value chain. This partnership is a stepping stone towards BNP Group’s ongoing efforts in expanding its financing of decarbonisation and transformation actions among clients in the food industry."

"Building a loan portfolio resilient to climate change risks, higher profitability for our partners, and lower risk for the Bank are only a few among many benefits such projects could provide to both sides of the partnership."

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