Lutosa to Add Fry Line; McCain Will Close UK Warehouse

There is good news and bad news on the McCain Foods employment front.

In Belgium, it has been reported that the company’s Lutosa subsidiary plans to build a new french fry line at its flagship factory in Leuze-en-Hainaut and add more than 70 new jobs by next year. In the United Kingdom, however, the livelihood of up to 74 employees is at risk as McCain Foods (GB) announced that it will eliminate cold storage and dry warehousing operations at its Scarborough site.

First the good news.

lutosa veggie burgerAmong Lutosa’s innovative potato specialty products is the Veggie Burger. As demand for Lutosa products exceeded production capacity in 2016, a decision was made to boost processing capacity by 180,000 tons per annum. That will be on top of 750,000 tons of capacity currently available at two factories in Belgium that supply frozen and chilled fries, potato specialties and flakes to customers in 125 countries. More than 90% of the output is exported.

Expansion and upgrading has been an ongoing process at Lutosa. During the last two years it has added two frozen specialty lines at the Leuze-en-Hainaut plant, renovated 10,000 square meters of workshop space, demolished an old packaging facility and built a new warehouse for the storage of packaging film and cartons.

Warehouse Outsourcing in UK

McCain FoodsIn the United Kingdom, McCain has opted to shut down on-site storage operations at its factory in Scarborough in favor of outsourcing warehousing logistics to a third party. The closing is expected to occur in the “coming months.”

According to Bill Bartlett, corporate affairs director for McCain Foods, the 45-year-old facility is “coming to the end of its serviceable life and no longer remains economically viable to maintain and operate.”

“Whilst it is proposed that some roles will remain, as part of an integrated stores operation, the company is entering into consultation with employees, as it is believed these positions will be at a much reduced level,” said Bartlett.

He added: “During the consultation, all employees will continue to be treated with fairness and respect, and McCain will offer professional advice and guidance to those affected, including access to an outplacement program to assist in identifying alternative employment.”

Meanwhile, McCain says it will continue to explore possible opportunities to update the manufacturing capacity of its Scarborough site to meet rising demand for frozen potato products.