McCain Portage la Prairie Facility Celebrates 40 Years

Published online: Apr 23, 2019 Articles
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On April 15, McCain Foods celebrated the 40th anniversary of its facility in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, and also officially opened its new potato receiving area at a special ceremony hosted on-site at the potato processing facility.

Manitoba dignitaries, including premier Brian Pallister and agriculture minister Ralph Eichler among others, were in attendance, as were local growers from the Keystone Potato Producers Association, McCain executives and some employees who have worked at the plant for 40 years.

“Today’s official opening of the new potato receiving area reflects McCain’s ongoing commitment to our business in Manitoba and to the people that live and work in the Portage la Prairie community,” said Dale McCarthy, vice president of integrated supply chain for McCain Foods North America.

“McCain Foods is a key part of Manitoba’s agricultural sector and our entire provincial economy,” said Pallister. “We congratulate McCain on the 40th anniversary of their Manitoba operations, and join them in celebrating their recent investment in Portage la Prairie.”

The expansion of the potato receiving area was part of a multi-year, $45 million capital investment commitment. The expansion now allows the Portage la Prairie facility to receive additional potatoes from local growers in a more time-efficient manner, as well as an allowance for additional holding capacity, a new cleaning line and a new refreshment break area.

Additional capital investments made by McCain to the Portage la Prairie facility from 2016 to 2019 include the installation of a new high-efficiency potato sorting system; cutting-edge processing and packaging equipment; new on-site waste water treatment systems; and upgrades to the facility’s heating, freezing and refrigeration systems.

The new potato receiving area expansion opening coincides with the 40th anniversary of McCain Foods’ continued operation and investment in Portage la Prairie.

“Congratulations to McCain Foods for celebrating 40 years of business operation in Portage la Prairie,” said parliament member Candice Bergen. “The McCain Portage la Prairie facility has long been an important contributor to our region not just for employment but also for partnering with the surrounding grower community and its longstanding involvement in the area.”

“As we celebrate both the opening of the potato receiving area and 40 years of continued operation at the McCain Portage la Prairie facility, we want to express the ongoing importance of the foundational relationships we share with our employees and growers in the Portage la Prairie community, some who have been with us all 40 years,” said Danielle Barran, president of McCain Foods Canada.

Manitoba growers annually plant about 64,000 acres of potatoes, which represents about one-fifth of Canada’s total potato crop. The $45 million investment in the McCain Portage la Prairie facility is reflective of the continued demand for McCain frozen potato and potato specialty segments and signals the company’s long-term commitment to the region and the province.

“McCain Foods has been a part of the Portage la Prairie community since 1979 and throughout that time has remained an important corporate citizen with the city, offering leadership and significant community involvement with projects big and small,” said Portage la Prairie mayor Irvine Ferris.

More than 300 employees work at the Portage la Prairie facility and are part of a proudly Canadian-based company with a global enterprise, including more than 21,000 employees operating out of 52 production facilities on six continents.