McCain Foods invests $80M in Grand Falls processing plant
McCain hopes to have new production line up and running by 2021
Frozen-food giant McCain Foods announced Wednesday it will spend $80 million to create a new production line at its Grand Falls location.
The expansion will bring advanced technology to food safety, processing and packaging, the New Brunswick-based company says.
It will also establish 80 new jobs in the area, designed to meet the growing demand for specialty potato products in North America.
There will be demand for an additional 1,200 hectares of potatoes from New Brunswick cultivators to supply the new high-speed line, says Dale McCarthy, vice-president of supply chains for McCain Foods in North America.
Potato farmers in the region have the capacity to meet the increased demand, according to Marcel Michaud, the owner of G. A. M. Michaud farms in Saint-André.
"There have been several years of reduced production in New Brunswick because demand was lower … absolutely, we have room," Michaud told Radio-Canada.
McCain Foods, which is headquartered in Florenceville, is the largest producer of frozen potato products in the world, with most of their potatoes being grown near its production plants in the province.
New jobs a good sign
The area lost 180 jobs with the closure of the Dr. Oetker plant in 2018, so Grand Falls Mayor Marcel Deschênes said he was pleased McCain Foods wants to further invest in the region.
"There has always been a good relationship [between] McCain and the City of Grand Falls," Deschênes told Radio-Canada.
"It's good for the whole region. We are talking about 80 jobs, but we must also think that McCain, by investing $80 million, they do not intend to close the doors tomorrow morning."
The expansion is expected to be completed by early 2021.
With files from Radio-Canada