McCain’s invests $10 million in Tasmanian fries, potato plant

McCain Foods Australia/New Zealand will invest up to $10 million dollars over the next two years to upgrade onsite storage facilities and build a new packing line at the Smithton, Northern Tasmania plant that will boost its capability to supply McCain Fries and potato products for grocery, convenience and foodservice markets nationally.

McCain Foods will spend an estimated $7.9 million to improve the on-site storage capacity over two years and $1.6 million on the new packing line. The improved storage facility will hold up to 55,000 tonnes of potatoes for processing.

McCain Foods Australia/New Zealand agriculture director John Jackson said the investment in upgrading storage and a new packing line will increase efficiencies and make the plant more sustainable.

“While this added investment will increase the plant’s capability and efficiencies, we still have a number of challenges before us in maintaining the competitiveness of the plant to ensure its long term survival,” he said.

“One of the challenges, in such a competitive market, is maintaining and increasing efficiencies to drive cost-reduction. Even in Northern Tasmania, we have to realize that we are competing in a global commodities market.

“In addition, rising local water and energy costs impact on the plant’s cost base reducing its overall profitability against global competitors.”

McCain Australia/New Zealand is a subsidiary of McCain Foods Limited that specializes in frozen potato products, vegetables, dinners, pizza, desserts and fruit, for both the retail and foodservice sectors. The company operates production facilities located on five sites in Australia and New Zealand.

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