The progress McCain Foods is making towards its sustainability commitments was announced with the release of the company’s annual Global Sustainability Report, which includes results from the past Fiscal Year.
With a goal of implementing regenerative agriculture practices across 100 per cent of the global acreage that grows potatoes for McCain products by the end of the decade, McCain is proud to announce that it is well on its way to reaching this milestone, with 51 per cent of McCain’s global potato acreage onboarded within McCain’s Regenerative Agriculture Framework, and 28 per cent moving up the framework towards more comprehensive adoption of regenerative practices.
“As one of the most vulnerable sectors impacted by climate change, the food system is one of the most important levers to help drive a sustainable and resilient future,” says Max Koeune, President and CEO of McCain Foods.
“That is why sustainability is at the heart of our purpose as a business. We are pleased to share an update on how we are making strides towards our goals in key areas that will ensure we have resource efficient operations, are farming in a smart and sustainable way and are contributing to building thriving communities in the areas that we operate, all while we continue to produce good food.”
McCain is accelerating the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices through its direct relationships with farmers— a network of 3,500 partners around the world — by providing technical and educational assistance and developing innovative financing solutions to offset costs associated with making changes in farming practices and adopting new technologies.
As part of the 2023 Sustainability Report, McCain details a typical year in the regenerative agriculture cycle at Farm of the Future Canada. This deep dive brings the regenerative transition to life and parallels learnings with those in the Southern hemisphere at Farm of the Future Africa.
By trialling, testing, and learning from the outcomes of implementing regenerative agriculture practices, McCain has supported farmers to become more resilient and competitive for the long term. This continued focus on innovation in agriculture reinforces McCain’s role as a global leader in food production.
In the 2023 Global Sustainability Report, McCain highlights the following results across four key pillars, underscoring its ongoing commitment of prioritizing sustainability across its global operations:
Smart and Sustainable Farming
In addition to progressing on commitments towards regenerative agriculture, McCain has completed its first season at Farm of the Future Africa and third season at Farm of the Future Canada, improved water-use efficiency in water-stressed regions by 9.4 per cent, delivered more than 23,500 hours of training to farmers and has achieved its goal to ensure 21.9 per cent of the potatoes grown for McCain are water stress-tolerant varieties.
More than 21 per cent of the electrical energy used by McCain was from renewable sources and absolute carbon emissions (Scope 1 and 2) reduced by 9.8 per cent from 2017. McCain has also achieved a 16.3 per cent improvement in water-use efficiency in priority plants. Additionally, 98.5 per cent of McCain’s paper packaging and 87.8 per cent of its plastic packaging are designed for recycling.
McCain launched new global policies for clean ingredients and nutrition, while maintaining 100 per cent Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification at all McCain owned facilities — and 96 per cent GFSI certification of all Tier 1 ingredient supplier facilities. Sodium was reduced by 6.6 per cent in McCain branded appetizer products, and the company has continued to remove artificial ingredients from key products.
In 2023, McCain employees provided more than 17,000 volunteer hours through the McCain Chips In initiative, reached 2,716 new beneficiaries with development programs and partnerships and donated the equivalent of 11.9 million meals.
“While we are proud of how far we have progressed towards our goals, we recognize there is more to be done,” says Mr. Koeune. “But we know this is not something we can do alone. Partnership and knowledge are crucial to move forward. We will continue to look to stakeholders – from our farmers, to government, to financial institutions, NGOs, suppliers, customers and other players in the food system – to collaborate on this journey towards planet-friendly food.
Read McCain’s 2023 Global Sustainability Summary Report here.
Source: McCain Foods