TORONTO — McDonald’s Canada has partnered with McCain Foods Limited to create the Future of Potato Farming Fund by investing $1 million in education, demonstration and cost-sharing grants to support potato-farmer adoption of regenerative practices and technology.
The fund’s goals are to build soil health and farm resilience to face the impacts of climate change, such as sudden storms, drought, unseasonable moisture, early frosts, cool springs, blazing heat waves and more. Additionally, the fund will be open to more than 130 Canadian farmers, who represent more than 76,000 acres of potato farmland. Two rounds of grants to implement regulatory practices started this month. Funding decisions will be made by representatives from McDonald’s Canada, McCain Foods, The Soil Health Institute and a national potato-farming association.
“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,” says Jeremy Carter, director of 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. Education, demonstrations and direct grower funding of practice adoption through this fund may lead to achieving healthier Canadian soils while creating delicious, planet-friendly food.”
“The partnership between McDonald’s Canada and McCain Foods highlights the importance of coming together as an industry to support Canadian farmers in their ongoing transition to regenerative agriculture,” says Matt Hemphill, executive director at Potatoes New Brunswick. “Canadian potato farmers are excited to trial priority regenerative practices and technology through the fund’s cost-share mechanism. This is a great example of supporting Canadian farmers with the tools they need to trial regenerative farming techniques, with an aim to future-proofing the land, and ensuing quality potatoes to share with Canadians for generations to come.”