UPDATED: McCain Foods plant in Albany closing

Colin MacLean
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ALBANY – McCain Foods is shutting down its processing plant in Albany.

Word is filtering out from meetings taking place with the more than 121 employees at the plant this morning.

The company confirmed Thursday morning that the plant will cease opperations as of Oct. 31, 2014.

A release from the company blames market factors for the decision.

“The shift in growing demand for French fries from North America to other regions, the impact of the stronger Canadian dollar over the last decade, and increased operating efficiency at other facilities to ensure competitiveness in a global export market have influenced the decision. Production at the PEI plant has declined by two-thirds over the last decade and the plant is now the smallest and least utilized facility in McCain’s North American network,” said the company.

Frank van Schaayk, president-americas for McCain Foods, added that this was a very difficult decision, but a necessary one for the company.

“Closing a plant is one of the toughest decisions we ever face,” said van Schaayk.

“We deeply regret the personal impact the closure will have on our PEI employees and we are committed to providing support and resources to those affected.”

Van Schaayk also said they will be providing $2 million to help the provincial government identify economic development initiatives for the area.

McCain has said that will support its departing staff as best it can by providing early retirement packages, severances and retraining options. 

Many Island potato farmers sell their crops to McCain. What exactly this closure will mean for them remains uncertain at this point.

The Journal Pioneer is covering this story and will have updates throughout the day.

Anyone affected by this closure is asked to contact the newsroom via email at newsroom@journalpioneer.com.

Organizations: McCain Foods

Geographic location: Albany

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