Ah McCain, you've done it again by backing regen ag

With the chips down McCain says it's time to go regen ag

Agribusiness
HEALTHIER CHIPS?: Global potato chip maker McCain Foods wants all its spuds produced using regenerative agriculture principles by 2030.

HEALTHIER CHIPS?: Global potato chip maker McCain Foods wants all its spuds produced using regenerative agriculture principles by 2030.

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Global potato chip maker McCain wants all its spuds grown using regenerative agriculture principles by 2030.

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McCain Foods, the global leader in the supply of manufactured potato products, has embraced regenerative agriculture in a big way.

By the end of this decade every spud that McCain turns into fries and potato patties will be sourced from farms using regen ag practices.

The switch is part of McCain's new global sustainability report, Together, Towards Planet-Friendly Food.

The company is pledging it will implement regen ag practices across 100 per cent of its potato acreage - representing 150,000 hectares worldwide - by 2030.

The announcement has caused some scepticism on social media with questions about whether there was an accepted definition of regen ag principles and suggestions McCain would need much more land if fertiliser use was significantly reduced in its potato production.

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"The COVID pandemic has put a spotlight squarely on the precarious nature of our global food system," McCain chief executive officer Max Koeune said.

"But the largest challenges we face are related to climate change," he said.

"It's estimated that a quarter of man-made carbon emissions come from the production of food and if we have to grow more food to feed more people, that will only intensify.

" If we don't transform the way we grow food, the whole system is at risk of suffering irreparable damage.

"Our belief in regenerative agriculture goes back to our roots as a farm business (in Canada)," Mr Koeune said.

McCain's products are now available in more than 160 countries.

THE HUMBLE SPUD: McCain Foods produces potato chips which are sold into more than 160 countries and has now pledged not to waste one potato delivered to its factories.

THE HUMBLE SPUD: McCain Foods produces potato chips which are sold into more than 160 countries and has now pledged not to waste one potato delivered to its factories.

Regen ag promotes things like increasing biodiversity and plant cover on paddocks, minimising soil disturbance and maximising crop diversity as a way to increase water efficiency, reduce erosion, naturally put more nutrients into the soil and create greater resilience to droughts and floods.

"Our global sustainability report is an annual progress report for McCain to keep track of the commitments and goals we have set," its vice-president of global external affairs and sustainability Charlie Angelakos said.

"With additional commitments between now and 2030, we are proud to play a role in combating climate change and discovering a more sustainable way to farm."

Among its latest commitments McCain said it would reduce carbon emissions from potato farming, storage and freight by 25 per cent by 2030 and reduce carbon emissions from all operations by 50pc by 2030.

The company also plans to move to 100pc renewable electricity by 2030.

It has also pledged to use every potato delivered to its factories and achieve zero waste to landfills by 2025.

Palm oil will be removed from all McCain branded products by 2025.

The story Ah McCain, you've done it again by backing regen ag first appeared on Farm Online.

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