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Aug 7, 2014

McCain closing P.E.I. French fry plant

121 jobs to be lost, stronger Canadian dollar blamed
    
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BORDEN-CARLETON, P.E.I. (CP) — McCain Foods is blaming a shift in the market for French fries and the stronger Canadian dollar for its decision to close a plant in Prince Edward Island.

When the plant in Borden-Carleton shuts down at the end of October, 121 jobs will be lost.

The company says there has been a shift in demand for its French fries from North America to other parts of the world, which was a factor in its decision.

The New Brunswick-based food company says production at its plant in P.E.I. has dropped by two-thirds over the last decade and it's now the smallest and least utilized factory in McCain's network of facilities across North America.

McCain says it is offering early retirement benefits and severance packages that exceed those required by the law to its employees.

Frank van Schaayk, president of McCain Foods in the Americas, says the company will contribute $2 million and work with the provincial government to help develop initiatives that create sustainable jobs for its affected workers.

``Closing a plant is one of the toughest decisions we ever face,'' he said Thursday in a news release. ``We deeply regret the personal impact the closure will have on our P.E.I. employees.''

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