The investment will increase the workforce from 225 to 485
By Diego Flammini
McCain Foods is making a multimillion-dollar investment in Alberta.
The food processor announced it will invest $600 million to upgrade its French fry production plant near Coaldale.
This represents the largest global investment in the company’s history.
“This will fuel continued growth for the business, allowing us to serve key markets further by bringing customers high quality potatoes that begin with our dedicated local farming community,” Max Koeune, president and CEO of McCain Foods, said in a March 13 statement.
Part of the expansion, which is scheduled to begin later this year, includes two new production lines which will increase the plant’s workforce from 225 to 485.
Wind turbines and solar panels to provide the plant with 100 per cent renewable electricity are also part of the construction. And Biogas created at the wastewater treatment facility will be taken to steam boilers to offset natural gas demands.
A water recycling program will also be brought on board to produce clean potable water for manufacturing.
Alberta’s minister of agriculture and irrigation, Nate Horner, celebrated the announcement on Twitter calling it “great news for our rural economy.”
Alberta was Canada’s potato leader in 2022.
In 2022, Alberta farmers produced 26.8 million hundredweight of spuds, Stats Canada data shows.
This includes an average yield of 375.9 hundredweight per acre.
Farmers in P.E.I., which is usually Canada’s potato capital, produced 26.6 million hundredweight in 2022.
The average yield in P.E.I. was 324.8 hundredweight per acre last year.
Farms.com has contacted members of Alberta’s potato sector for comment on the McCain investment.