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President and CEO of McCain Foods: ‘To save the world, start with fixing how we grow potatoes’

It all begins on the farm. That plate of french fries you are about to enjoy began as a potato, grown and harvested from a family farm. Farms have always been at the heart of McCain Foods’ business. The success we have had is only possible because of what happens on the family farms with which we are fortunate to partner. But we need to have a frank discussion about the future of farming.

So says Max Koeune, President and CEO of McCain Foods in this article published by the Toronto Star.

Koeune writes that globally, more than a quarter of the carbon emissions that contribute to climate change come from the growing and processing of food — and a global population boom is only going to exacerbate that problem. If we don’t change the way we farm, feeding the world in 30 years will require an 87 per cent increase in carbon emissions.

It’s not a pretty picture, Koeune says.

“Standing pat is not an option. If we don’t change the way we grow food — if we don’t reimagine how we grow a potato — the entire global food system could collapse. Harrison McCain, a co-founder of McCain Foods, once said, ‘If you don’t get the agronomy right, nothing else matters.’ It is time to make a shift and get the agronomy right for the future.

“This is why McCain is making a global commitment to the principles and practices of regenerative agriculture. …The transition will take three, five, maybe 10 years, but these are the critical years to make progress that protects the resilience of our farms. We must all contribute to growing food that will help feed the planet sustainably for the generations to come, and will protect and sustain the livelihood of those that grow that food.

Source: Toronto Star. Read the full article here
Photo: Arnold Park, left, and Harrison McCain, then president and chairman respectively of McCain Foods Canada, watch as french fries come off the line at a new processing plant, near Coaldale, Alberta in 2000.  Lethbridge Herald – David Rossiter / CP photo
Author: Max Koeune is the president and chief executive officer of McCain Foods.

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