PEI

McCain plant in Borden-Carleton officially closes

The McCain french fry plant in Borden-Carleton officially closed Friday, impacting 121 workers and leaving questions about potato processing in Prince Edward Island.

Workers have processed P.E.I. potatoes from the location for about 20 years

McCain Foods says production at the Borden-Carleton plant declined by two-thirds over the last decade, making it the company's smallest and least utilized facility in North America. (The Associated Press)

The McCain french fry plant in Borden-Carleton officially closed Friday, impacting 121 workers and leaving questions about potato processing in Prince Edward Island.

Security was tight as a few remaining service trucks were coming and going from the plant. Workers have processed P.E.I. potatoes from the location for about 20 years, creating specialty products as well as french fries.

The Potato Board said the closure will affects the entire potato industry on the Island.

The Borden-Carleton plant was the smallest of McCain's nine processing plants scattered around the world.

Company officials say the market is changing, with the processing and consumption of french fries shifting away from North America.

The plant closure will also affect 23 farmers but the company is honouring those contracts this year.

Gary Linkletter of Linkletter Farms, says he's hopeful Irving owned Cavendish Farms will process more potatoes as a result. But he says the Canadian dollar and transportation costs from P.E.I. put farmers at a disadvantage.