McCain Foods – including its sister company CêlaVíta – launches a unique regenerative agriculture program in the Netherlands

26 January 2023

McCain Foods launched today a new and exciting regenerative agriculture program in the Netherlands. McCain is supporting Dutch potato farmers in their transition to more sustainable agriculture practices, with a range of actions including technical, commercial and – with our partner Rabobank – financial support.

THE NETHERLANDS (January 26, 2023) - Potato farmers are facing increasing challenges that include climate change, variable and unpredictable weather, rising input costs, and regulatory uncertainty. McCain is partnering with farmers to transform the way potatoes are grown using regenerative agriculture practices. The framework McCain has developed globally is an ecosystem-based approach to farming that aims to improve farmer resilience, yield, and quality. This is done by improving soil health, enhancing biodiversity, and reducing the impact of synthetic inputs. Dutch potato farmers will be eligible to take part in this new program under four progressive levels: Onboarding, Beginner, Master and Expert. The new program is part of McCain’s global commitment to implement regenerative agricultural practices across 100% of its potato acreage worldwide by the end of 2030.

Erwin Pardon, Regional President McCain Continental Europe: “This initiative in the Netherlands comes in the context of our recently published Sustainability Report and is part of McCain’s overall strategy for responsible and sustainable agriculture. This is one of our four pillars for sustainability, together with resource-efficient operations, good food, and thriving communities”, said Pardon. “For years, McCain, and our sister company CêlaVíta, have been committed to a healthier and more sustainable food system. Following the successful roll-out of similar agriculture programs in France and in Canada, we are now launching our Regenerative Agriculture program in the Netherlands, to support the sustainability of our food chain and strengthen the collaboration with our farmers”, he concluded.

Jan and Koen Lampert – father and son: “To meet tomorrow's challenges, we know we must act now and follow a more sustainable path. An opportunity for this is Regenerative Agriculture, which is a more sustainable way of crop cultivation. This initiative by McCain to work with us and to share knowledge and bring together financial and soil quality expertise is a very welcome addition to this”, Jan and Koen Lampert concluded.

The three pillars of the newly launched McCain regenerative agriculture program include the following:

  • Technical support

McCain, together with its partner Aequator, will guide and train farmers in areas such as soil life, organic matter and crop diversification. Erik Haasken, Agronomy Manager McCain Northern Europe commented: “Our potato farmers have been working on greening and caring for their soil for years. By working together we can make even greater strides” Haasken concluded.

  • Commercial support

McCain will offer a new three-year contract on a voluntary basis for farmers engaged in the regenerative agriculture journey to reward and support their efforts in this transition. This contract will include a premium on the tonnes of potatoes delivered coming from regenerative agriculture fields. McCain will start with a limited number of farmers in the first year (as a pilot) and it will then roll it out to 100% of its farmers over time.

  • Financial support

McCain will work in close partnership with its partner Rabobank to support growers in their transition. The partnership will provide a whole range of financial support measures to farmers, including a discounted interest loan to assist them in transitioning to regenerative farming practices. The McCain agreement with Rabobank runs over a three-year period.

Gea Bakker, Sector Manager Food & Agri Rabobank commented: “Thanks to the cooperation with McCain it becomes more attractive for farmers to invest in sustainable practices. Potato farmers who take measures such as extensive crop rotation and improved soil health, will receive a higher price for their potatoes and at the same time will get a discount on interest rates by Rabobank. We are happy to contribute by giving this interest rate discount to our clients, as it will have a positive effect on the farmers’ business as well as on nature.”, Bakker concluded.

About McCain in the Netherlands

Founded 65 years ago in Canada, McCain is the world leader in potato-based frozen foods. Our company operates in more than 160 countries and employs approximately 22,000 people. Our network consists of 51 production facilities, of which 11 are in the Netherlands. Two facilities operate as McCain factories; another one is the Wezep-based CêlaVíta facility, already active for almost 50 years as a supplier of peeled chilled potatoes; 5 facilities belong to our sister company Van Geloven, the appetizer company with iconic brands such as Mora and van Dobben. The remaining 3 production sites in Kruiningen, Yerseke and Rilland belong to the recently acquired Dutch company called Scelta Products which also operates globally. McCain and its sister companies continue to expand and grow the potato-based and appetizer frozen foods sector.

About Rabobank Group

Rabobank is an international financial services provider operating on the basis of cooperative principles. It offers retail banking, wholesale banking, private banking, leasing and real estate services. As a cooperative bank, Rabobank puts customers’ interests first in its services. Rabobank is committed to being a leading customer-focused cooperative bank in the Netherlands and a leading food and agri bank worldwide. Rabobank employed 45,415 FTE per 30 June 2022. Rabobank Group is active in 38 countries. For more information about the Rabobank Group: