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McCain Australia and New Zealand resumes normal production after Covid induced backlog

With Kiwis eating fewer hot chips during lockdown, one of New Zealand’s largest potato chip manufacturers was forced to cut production significantly for six weeks at its Timaru factory until the backlog was cleared, Samesh Mohanlall reports.

McCain Foods agriculture director Australia and New Zealand John Jackson said the company’s factory at Washdyke, Timaru, had reduced its usual 24/7 production to five day a week shifts when stock built up due to reduced orders.

“With Covid level four a lot of the QSR (quick-service restaurant) businesses went from using a lot of product to zero, and eventually that comes right back through the supply chain,” Jackson said. “The plant usually operates 24 hours a day, seven days of the week for about 330 days of the year.”

Fifteen weeks after takeaway food businesses and restaurants were allowed to re-open, the factory has returned to normal production.

The company, which supplies the likes of McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, major supermarket chains, food services and restaurants, is not concerned about the most recent lockdown impacting demand.

Johnson said Potatoes NZ, which represents local growers, had applied to the Government for an anti-dumping application due to a huge international surplus of potatoes from Belgium and the Netherlands being dumped in New Zealand and other nations earlier this year.

“We are happy to compete globally with everyone else in the world, but we’ll be happy to see a fair trading situation where everyone is on the same level turn.”

Source: Read the full report here

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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