McCain Foods Plans Major Expansion of Idaho Potato Plant
Lisle, Illinois-headquartered McCain Foods USA will boost production capacity for frozen french fries in North America at its factory in Burley, Idaho. Capital investments to support the expansion will exceed $200 million, and more than 180 new jobs are expected to be created at the facility.
“McCain has been a part of the Burley community since the 1960’s,” said Jeff DeLapp, regional president in charge of operations in North America. “This investment will bring more jobs, continued partnerships with local potato growers, and expanded capacity to meet increasing demand for our products.”
The news follows previous McCain expansion announcements regarding increased specialty potato capacity in Plover, Wisconsin, and more recently a $65 million investment at the company’s flagship factory in Florenceville, New Brunswick, Canada.
“In 2016, we reviewed all of our North America sites and narrowed the potential for expansion to a handful that could best help us meet the growing demand for McCain products,” said DeLapp. “In the end, we chose Burley due to its proximity to quality potatoes, availability of a skilled work force, and strong community and state level support.”
Construction is scheduled to start soon, and the new capacity is expected to be up and running by the late summer of 2018. The company will reportedly receive a 30% tax reimbursement over 15 years totaling $5.86 million.
“We’re very happy they decided to build a new plant here,” said Burley City Administrator Mark Mitton, who noted that the McCain will construct additional buildings behind its existing facilities.
The increased production capacity will require up to 15,000 more acres of potatoes to be cultivated annually from eastern Idaho to the Oregon border, according to Mitton.
It has been estimated that Idaho’s gross domestic product will be boosted by $560 million over the next 20 years as a result of the investment. During the same period, state and local performance-based incentives will amount to approximately $20 million.
McCain Foods is an international leader in the frozen food industry, and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of frozen potato products, employing approximately 20,000 people and operating 51 production facilities on six continents. The privately owned company generated sales in excess of CDN $8.5 billion last year.