McCain Foods chose the occasion National French Fry Day on July 13 to announce a commitment to improving the sustainability of its wide range of frozen products, including the iconic french fry, with a key focus on creating a more sustainable approach to potato farming.
“The global demand for food has never been greater, and farmers are being challenged with producing more with less, while facing increasingly challenging weather patterns, and growing food in soil that is deteriorating,’’ said Max Koeune, president and chief executive officer of Toronto, Ontario, Canada-headquartered McCain Foods Ltd. “Farmers are at the heart of our country and food system, and the food challenges we’ve experienced during Covid-19 could only get worse if we don’t start taking action.’’
Key to this commitment is building three “Farms of the Future” to showcase how regenerative farming practices and the latest agricultural technology and innovations can be implemented at scale. In partnership with leading academics and suppliers, each will focus on demonstrating that more sustainable practices can also create a more financially viable future for farming, while at the same time increasing food production.
These innovative commercial farms will be established in three countries with three different climates around the world. The first will be developed in the province New Brunswick, where McCain was founded.
‘‘We’ve been working in partnership with many growers for generations, and this is a next step in ensuring the future of this important industry, and a Canadian food staple,’’ said Koeune.
The Farms of the Future program was announced as part of McCain’s first sustainability report. Titled “Be Good. Do Good,” the report summarizes McCain’s sustainability responsibilities, what it is currently doing and where it plans to go.
Other key tenets include an environmental commitment to produce zero waste to landfill, use 100 per cent renewable energy and to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 per cent by 2030. Alongside, is a commitment to produce good food, including plans to reduce sodium content in products by 15 per cent by 2025, providing clear and transparent nutritional information, and removing artificial ingredients.
“I hope everyone can celebrate the fun of the french fry with friends and family knowing that they are supporting Canadian Farmers,” said Koeune. ‘’We’re committed to making these products planet-friendly – and we will.”
The McCain sustainability report can be found here.