Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs & Environment visited McCain, at Pugeston, near Montrose last Tuesday.
His visit marked the 25th anniversary of the firm’s seed potato business in Scotland.
Over this period McCain has developed a world leading seed potato business in Scotland, which has gone from supplying 5,000 tonnes of one variety to up to 30,000 tonnes of 12 different varieties.
These seed potatoes are exported to other countries where McCain operates such as France and Holland as well as to Israel, Egypt and Turkey. However, Pugeston principally supplies seed potatoes for McCain Food GB Ltd to England.
To mark the anniversary the Cabinet Secretary was joined by some of the McCain contract seed growers along with other stakeholders.
Mr Lochhead opened a refurbished and upgraded seed storage with refrigeration and positive ventilation drying system. This represents an investment of over £250,000 and demonstrates McCain’s continued commitment to its business in Scotland.
Mr Lochhead said: “Potatoes have been a key crop for Scotland for generations and we have a worldwide reputation for producing high quality seed potatoes.
“Production at McCain’s has shown impressive growth over the last 25 years, to the point where practically all the company’s chips in the UK have their roots in Scotland. The company has provided investment and commitment to the Scottish seed potato sector and growers and their investment in the plant is a further demonstration of that. McCain’s is a Scottish agricultural success and I congratulate them on 25 years of operation at this site.”
Colin Herron, general manager, said: “We are delighted that the Cabinet Secretary has been able to join us to help mark this significant milestone in the development of our business in Scotland. The upgraded facility which has been officially opened is a real sign of McCain’s ambition to further grow its business in Scotland and the company’s confidence in a sector in which Scotland is a world leader.”