McCain Foods Australia/New Zealand will spend up to $10 million dollars over the next two years upgrading onsite storage facilities and building a new packing line at the Smithton plant in Circular Head, Northern Tasmania.
McCain Foods will spend an estimated $7.9 million on the on-site storage over two years and $1.6 million on the new packing line.
The improved storage facility will hold up to 55,000 tonnes of potato for processing.
McCain Foods Australia/New Zealand Agriculture Director John Jackson said the investment in upgrading storage and a new packing line will increase efficiencies and make the plant more sustainable.
“While this added investment will increase the plant’s capability and efficiencies, we still have a number of challenges before us in maintaining the competitiveness of the plant to ensure its long term survival,” he said.
“One of the challenges, in such a competitive market, is maintaining and increasing efficiencies to drive cost-reduction. Even in Northern Tasmania, we have to realize that we are competing in a global commodities market.
“In addition, rising local water and energy costs impact on the plant’s cost base reducing its overall profitability against global competitors.”
The Smithton plant processes potatoes for French Fries and potato products for the local and interstate markets.