Food In Canada

McCain aims for 100 per cent regen-ag by 2030, 51 per cent are on board

By Food in Canada Staff   

Sustainability Fruit & Vegetables McCain Foods Regenerative agriculture

McCain Foods recently released its 2023 Global Sustainability Report that spotlights key progress towards its sustainability commitments.

McCain has a goal of implementing regenerative agriculture practices across 100 per cent of the global acreage that grows potatoes for McCain products by the end of the decade. Currently, 51 per cent of McCain’s global potato acreage have onboarded within McCain’s Regenerative Agriculture Framework, and 28 per cent are moving up the framework towards more comprehensive adoption of regenerative practices.

“As one of the most vulnerable sectors impacted by climate change, the food system is one of the most important levers to help drive a sustainable and resilient future,” says Max Koeune, president and CEO of McCain Foods. “That is why sustainability is at the heart of our purpose as a business. We are pleased to share an update on how we are making strides towards our goals in key areas that will ensure we have resource efficient operations, are farming in a smart and sustainable way and are contributing to building thriving communities in the areas that we operate, all while we continue to produce good food.”

To accelerate the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices, McCain provides farmers with technical and educational assistance and develops financing solutions to offset costs associated with making changes in farming practices and adopting new technologies.


In the 2023 Global Sustainability Report, McCain highlights the following results across four key pillars.

Smart and sustainable farming

In addition to progressing on commitments towards regenerative agriculture, McCain has completed its first season at Farm of the Future Africa and third season at Farm of the Future Canada, improved water-use efficiency in water-stressed regions by 9.4 per cent, delivered more than 23,500 hours of training to farmers and has achieved its goal to ensure 21.9 per cent of the potatoes grown for McCain are water stress-tolerant varieties.

Resource-efficient operations

More than 21 per cent of the electrical energy used by McCain was from renewable sources and absolute carbon emissions (Scope 1 and 2) reduced by 9.8 per cent from 2017. McCain has also achieved a 16.3 per cent improvement in water-use efficiency in priority plants. Additionally, 98.5 per cent of McCain’s paper packaging and 87.8 per cent of its plastic packaging are designed for recycling.

Good food

McCain launched new global policies for clean ingredients and nutrition, while maintaining 100 per cent Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification at all McCain-owned facilities — and 96 per cent GFSI certification of all Tier 1 ingredient supplier facilities. Sodium was reduced by 6.6 per cent in McCain branded appetizer products, and the company has continued to remove artificial ingredients from key products.

Thriving communities

In 2023, McCain employees provided more than 17,000 volunteer hours through the McCain Chips In initiative, reached 2,716 new beneficiaries with development programs and partnerships and donated the equivalent of 11.9 million meals.

“While we are proud of how far we have progressed towards our goals, we recognize there is more to be done,” says Koeune. “But we know this is not something we can do alone. Partnership and knowledge are crucial to move forward. We will continue to look to stakeholders – from our farmers and government to financial institutions, NGOs, suppliers, customers and other players in the food system – to collaborate on this journey towards planet-friendly food.

Read McCain’s 2023 Global Sustainability Summary Report and all associated downloadable assets here.

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