North America, Processing, fries, chips

Searching for spuds: Potato farmers in Alberta prepare for french fry facility expansion

On Monday, McCain Foods announced its largest investment in company history at its Alberta processing plant in Canada. The company is investing $600 million to more than double the size of its workforce at the plant, from 225 to 485, and double the size of its facility and output. Construction on the expansion is expected to start later this year.

As Taylor Simmons reports for CBC News, it’s great news for nearby potato farmers, according to Terence Hochstein, executive director of the Potato Growers of Alberta, an association representing about 150 potato producers in the province.

“Alberta’s potato industry is doing very well. We continue to grow, year over year,” he said. “There will be some new growers, some new opportunities for people wanting to get into this business, and we’re quite excited to welcome them into the family.”

About eight kilometres down the road from the McCain Foods processing facility, just outside Coaldale, Alta., Michel Camps and his family have grown potatoes at CP Farms Ltd. for more than two decades. “I’ve got the second generation knocking at the door that potentially want to grow some potatoes as well,” said Camps in an interview on the Calgary Eyeopener.

For Mark Miyanaga, co-owner of Triple M Farms in Taber, Alta., the expansion is recognition of the more than six decades of work his family has poured into the soil of their potato farm.

Source: CBC News. Read the full story here and watch a video
Cover image: A tractor works to plant potatoes at CP Farms Ltd. in southern Alberta in 2018. Credit Potato Growers of Alberta via CBC News

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