Tucked away on Yorkshire’s east coast is the sprawling food manufacturing and R&D facilities of McCain. Unlikely as the location may be the facilities themselves are exactly as you would expect from a global food giant like McCain.
The Company has recently announced it will be investing £150 million pounds into the facility as part of its commitment to its Scarborough based operation and the UK as a whole where they employ over 1700 people across five sites.
The Canadian owned family business that has been based in the county for more than 50 decades recently opened its doors to Chamber members who were given unprecedented access to the day to day operation at the company’s only UK R&D facility.
The major takeaway from the tour was just how much work goes into ensuring the potato product that we as the end consumer receive is the standard we have come to expect. By the end of the day, the perception of what went into producing a chip was flipped on its head. The whole experience and passion for the craft were akin that of an old-world winery.
Maybe that is the best comparison because from the seed development to farming it is skilfully managed to ensure the end customer gets a consistent product year after year.
Maintaining that consistency boils down to the company’s commitment to Britain’s agricultural economy. As a company that adapts every year to a new potato crop and a new season and adjust to other challenges, food producers face is essential in the current political and regulatory landscape.
From an organisational point of view to make sure McCain’s work for fair regulations that allow their growers to have the opportunity to be competitive with other countries around the world. That also ensures that British manufacturing and British business can grow both in the market here in the UK but even more comprehensively across the rest of the world.
McCain works with over 300 growers across the UK, to grow the best British potatoes possible. This process starts with seed development, of which McCain have their own business in Scotland where all of their seed production starts and all of their potatoes begin their journey.
Despite Canadian roots, McCain’s history is grounded in Yorkshire and more specifically Scarborough, where they are committed to working with and helping the local community. One such regional issue is the public-private partnership made up of the Chamber, the local enterprise partnership, MPs and other local businesses. Working with this group, they are looking to support a more developed infrastructure most notably the A64 to ensure that east-west connectivity is at its best, unlocking opportunities and transformational growth in the area.
Looking to the future of the company in the UK beyond their investment in Scarborough and equally promising is the success of their apprenticeship program. Now in its 5th year, the company has 20 apprentices across their UK sites ensuring the next generation of engineers are entering the workforce.