25 September 1998

New factory for 2000

CHAMPAGNE, France has attracted a new potato processing factory, ahead of the UK and traditional European potato regions.

"It has lots of potential for potatoes, and plenty of irrigation," says Laurent Dehay, procurement manager for McCain in northern France.

The factory, near Chalon en Champagne, opens in Sept 2000 and will have an annual intake of 300,000t. This will come from 6000ha of contract crops grown in the immediate area. Varieties will be primarily Russet Burbank and Shepody, to service the french fry market in southern Europe, the company says.

Added to its Harnes and Bethune units further north, this takes McCain annual requirement for potatoes in its French factories to nearly 1m tonnes.