Cavendish Farms says it faces same challenges as McCain Foods

TC Media
Published on August 8, 2014

Cavendish Farms plant in New Annan.

©Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer

McCain Foods’ biggest competitor in the french fry market says it is facing the very same challenges – currency, competition and costs – as its rival.

Ron Clow, vice president of Cavendish Farms, says his company remains committed to P.E.I., but he called on the P.E.I. government to ensure it has access to deep-water wells to ensure its survival.

Cavendish Farms has warned its plants on the Island could be in jeopardy if deep-water wells are not approved. The province is currently studying the issue.

Clow said his company invests in its employees and technology.

“We also need a sustainable source of water to grow potatoes,” Clow said in a statement emailed to The Guardian.  

“The fact is that the yield from P.E.I. potato fields is lagging behind the rest of North America due to a lack of certain water supply.  This means less money for the farmer per acre, and less potatoes for Cavendish to process.”

Cavendish Farms employs 600 workers and buys potatoes from 92 family farms.

Clow said Thursday’s news that McCain is leaving P.E.I. is very difficult news for many Island neighbours.

“We need to consider what this says regarding the very real challenges facing the sector and what it takes to sustain good paying food production jobs on P.E.I.”