P.E.I. officials concerned about McCain plant's future
Provincial and federal officials are seeking assurances from McCain Foods Canada as dwindling production and reduced shifts at its Borden Carleton facility have sparked worries about the future of the giant food processor in Prince Edward Island.
The company began slowing production and scaling back shifts earlier this year, prompting a high-level meeting that included Premier Robert Ghiz, federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea and the P.E.I. Potato Board.
The officials claim that production is now at 40 per cent of the plant's capacity.
Ghiz took the concerns raised at the meeting to the company's president last week.
"I spoke last week with the president Darryl Rowe just to reiterate our support of the industry," Ghiz told CBC News.
A McCain official said the recession has had an impact on exports and the volume of potatoes that it buys but that the company has no plans at the present to close any of its Canadian facilities, including the Borden Carleton plant.
McCain Foods, whose global and Canadian headquarters are in Florenceville, N.B., operates 13 processing facilities across the country with about 4,000 employees.
Provincial Agriculture Minister George Webster was also confident of the future of the key company in P.E.I.
"I would be personally very surprised if McCain's left this province," he said.