Processing Plant Fire Will Affect Maine's Ag Industry

Published online: Mar 28, 2022 Articles
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Source: WMTW

The large fire at a potato processing plant in Belfast, Maine, is expected to have ripple effects across the state's agriculture industry.

The Penobscot McCrum plant processed Maine-grown potatoes into products sold around the country.

A fire tore through the building Thursday morning, destroying the facility and leaving the 138 people who work there without a job.

Don Flannery, executive director of the Maine Potato Board, said the loss of the plant will have a negative impact on the state's potato growers.

"I think everyone wants to do everything they can to get that plant back because it's important in our industry. It has a very unique place in the market, Flannery said.

Flannery said the McCrum family has been a leader in Maine's potato industry for decades, offering growing opportunities to turn their crops into specialized products at the Belfast plant. He said there are producers across the state who have contracts with the plant who may need to make adjustments to their 2022 growing plans after the fire.