McDonald's Canada and McCain Foods Limited are partners in the Future of Potato Farming Fund by investing $1M in education, demonstration, and cost-sharing grants to support potato farmer adoption of regenerative practices and technology. The new Fund's goals are building soil health and farm resilience as Canadian potato farmers face the escalating impacts of climate change on yield and crop quality.
"McDonald's World Famous Fries come from 100 per cent Canadian potatoes, and each one starts with healthy soil and Canada's dedicated potato growers," said Gemma Pryor, senior director, Canada Impact Team, McDonald's Canada.
"Climate change continues to impact the crop and our potato growing communities. To address this, McCain has pledged to implement regenerative agricultural practices across 100 per cent of its potato acreage by 2030," said Jeremy Carter, director agriculture, Western Canada, McCain Foods. "Through our shared vision with McDonald's Canada, we are focused on supporting our growers in accelerating the transition to the key principles of regenerative agriculture like maintaining living cover, reducing tillage intensity, diversifying rotations, reducing the intensity of chemical applications, and enhancing biodiversity.”
The Fund will be open to more than 130 Canadian farmers, who represent more than 76,000 acres of potato farmland. It will consist of two rounds of grants for growers to implement established regulatory practices to build soil health and resilience starting in August 2022. Growers can apply to the Fund for cost-sharing from a list of priority regenerative practices and technologies, such as cover crop seed, flower strip seed, lower intensity tillage equipment, decision support systems, organic soil amendments, and more.
Funding decisions will be made jointly by an expert selection committee comprised of representatives from McDonald's Canada, McCain Foods, The Soil Health Institute, and a representative from a national potato farming association. McDonald's Canada and McCain Foods will be working with the Soil Health Institute to measure progress throughout the program, specifically increased soil organic carbon and total nitrogen, increased bulk density and aggregate stability and plant available water and better drainage capacity.
Source: McDonalds Canada and McCain Foods August 10, 2022 news release