New Zealand: McCain resumes normal chip production

Due to a decreased demand in New Zealand, one of the country’s largest potato chip manufacturers was forced to cut production significantly for six weeks at its Timaru factory.

McCain Foods agriculture director Australia and New Zealand John Jackson said the company’s factory at Washdyke, Timaru, had reduced its usual 24/7 production to five day a week shifts when stock built up due to reduced orders. The plant usually operates 24 hours a day, seven days of the week for about 330 days of the year, he said.

At its Washdyke plant, McCain employs 140 people; Jackson said they were able to retain all staff during the period of reduced production. Fifteen weeks after takeaway food businesses and restaurants were allowed to re-open, the factory has returned to normal production.

The company, which supplies the likes of McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, major supermarket chains, food services and restaurants, is not concerned about the most recent lockdown impacting demand.

According to¸ all 550 million potatoes, processed through the McCain Foods Timaru plant each year, are harvested from New Zealand soil.

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