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McCain launches Potato Farm Pledge

19 Aug 2020
Manufacturer of frozen potatoes McCain has launched the Potato Farm Pledge to invest £25 million into the British potato industry to help British farmers cope with the impact of Covid-19 and the erratic weather caused by climate change.

The investment will also strengthen McCain’s partnerships with farmers and benefit wider industries. The £25 million investment has been split into three elements:

  • Multi-year incentives: A three to five year loyalty scheme that rewards farmers who continue to grow potatoes.
  • Grower grant funding: A fund to which growers can apply for grants to invest in. There have already been 85 applications from growers to date.
  • Sustainable contracts: Alongside honouring contracts during Covid-19, McCain is ‘optimising’ its contracts so farmers get fair prices.

Howard Snape, regional president at McCain GB & Ireland, said: “Having faced a major drought and one of the wettest harvests on record, they’ve experienced two of the worst crops in 40 years. Added to that, without us honouring our contracts with growers and finding alternative outlets, they would have been left with a huge surplus of wasted potatoes due to COVID-19 shutting down the hospitality industry.

“[The] investment will not only help the potato industry but will also strengthen McCain’s partnerships with farmers and support the wider supply chain including our customers and suppliers. However, we can’t do this alone – to overcome the challenges facing growers, everyone needs to take the initiative to work collaboratively.

“It’s why within our sector we’re committed to working with farmers, customers, industry leadership groups and government to create a sustainable future for years to come.”

Alongside the pledge, McCain has been working with FareShare to help farmers redistribute their excess supply of potatoes to food banks.