McCain Foods will have a new $80 million fry processing plant on line by the fall of 2001.
Announced from the company's headquarters in Florenceville, NB, the plant to be built in Arroostook County in Maine will utilize about four million cwt of potatoes and about 15,000 additional acres.
In 1998 McCain Foods expanded its existing plant in Easton, ME, utilizing a $70.8 million outlay. That plant will be at full capacity when the new plant is finished in 2001.
Gilles Lessard, chairman of McCain Foods USA, said the company first began processing potatoes in Maine with the purchase of Taterstate Frozen Foods in 1975.
"For 25 years we've been making french fries in Maine. Other companies have come and gone, but we've remained. We believe we have a real future in Maine," Lessard said.
Frank van Schaayk, president of Foodservice, McCain Foods USA, who oversees the company's five fry plants in the Untied States, underscored this view. "We have been very successful in Maine, but the real science is the success of the Maine potato farmer. There has been a substantial increase in Maine's potato quality. Maine potatoes are second to none in the U.S."