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Potato farming C resilience

Potato farming C resilience 12 August 2020

McCain invests £25m in bolstering potato farmers’ climate resilience (via Business Green)

By James Murray

Following two of the worst harvests in decades, the new McCain Potato Farmer Pledge campaign aims to help British farmers adapt to increasingly erratic weather.

With much of the UK baking in near record high August temperatures, one of the country's leading food brands has today launched a major new campaign to help farmers adapt to escalating climate impacts.

McCains, the UK's largest manufacturer of frozen potato products, has unveiled the 'McCain Potato Farmer Pledge' backed by a £25m investment designed to help its supply chain better manage the impact of both climate change and the coronavirus crisis.

"British potato farmers have been hit immensely hard in recent years," said Howard Snape, regional president at McCain GB and Ireland. "Having faced a major drought and one of the wettest harvests on record, they've experienced two of the worst crops in 40 years. Added to that, without us honouring our contracts with growers and finding alternative outlets, they would have been left with a huge surplus of wasted potatoes due to COVID-19 shutting down the hospitality industry."

He added that the new investment would both help the potato industry prepare for projected changes to the climate and strengthen McCain's relationships with its suppliers. "However, we can't do this alone - to overcome the challenges facing growers, everyone needs to take the initiative to work collaboratively," Snape said. "It's why within our sector we're committed to working with farmers, customers, industry leadership groups and government to create a sustainable future for years to come."

The new campaign includes a grant funding scheme to help farmers invest in more sustainable irrigation systems and other emerging clean technologies, new multi-year incentives to reward farmers who continue to produce potatoes over the next three to five years, and enhanced sustainability-focused contracts.

Read the full story here...