McCain Foods Holland

“McCain Foods Holland B.V. has three sites in the Netherlands; factories in Lelystad and Lewedorp and an office in Hoofddorp. Our Lelystad (Flevoland) factory is located close to the potatoes; they are grown in our back garden so to speak, and come here ‘straight’ from the field. Our end products reach clients all over the world. Distribution from Lelystad and the Netherlands is efficient: within Europe, we use road transport; non-European destinations are easily accessible via the Port of Rotterdam.

Flevoland offers space and room to move, something that cannot always be taken for granted in other parts of the Netherlands. Crime rates are low: we’ve only had one burglary in sixteen years. So it’s certainly safe here. You can move about freely day or night without having to look over your shoulder. Our people are our greatest asset. With a bit of creativity, that asset is to be found locally and regionally. Production occurs in four shifts and employees are able to get to work quickly and safely, without traffic congestion.”

Potatoes have always been the mainstay of McCain, right from the beginning when the Canadian McCain family traded and exported seed potatoes from Canada on a modest scale. The McCain brand has achieved great recognition since it was set up in 1956 and McCain has become a global market leader in deep frozen potato products. Dozens of production lines and sites have been established since then.

Approximately 180,000 hectares of potatoes are produced annually in the Netherlands. This translates into approximately 7 million tonnes, of which about 3 million tonnes are utilised by the processing industry. About 45 lorries drive back and forth daily to deliver at least 400,000 tonnes of potatoes to McCain in the Netherlands.

Jongstra: “McCain has three sites in the Netherlands; factories in Lelystad and Lewedorp, and an office in Hoofddorp. We’ve been located in Lelystad (Flevoland) since 1991, when McCain acquired the bankrupt Polder Food Products chip factory. Our factories are located close to the potatoes; they are grown in our back garden so to speak, and come here ‘straight’ from the field. We produce 125,000 tonnes of oven chips and wedges annually.”

In 1997, McCain expanded the oven chips range in the Lelystad factory. An additional building was purchased, a new packing facility built, and an independent water purification system installed; representing a total investment of $ 41 million. A 240-metre long conveyor belt was constructed between the two buildings to transport the sorted potatoes to the factory where they are processed. Jongstra: “In 1992 we started off with production of 10 tonnes of finished product per hour. Now we produce 25 tonnes per hour, which translates into 50 tonnes of potatoes (1.5 trailers) per hour.”

Our end products reach clients all over the world. Distribution from Lelystad and the Netherlands is efficient: within Europe, we use road transport; non-European destinations are easily accessible via the Port of Rotterdam. If you’re hosting visitors or travelling yourself, you simply hop on the train here and within three quarters of an hour, you’re at Schiphol. Accessibility is very good and there is no traffic congestion.”

Jongstra says availability of the right, well-qualified people is also important. “We utilise high-quality production equipment that needs to be skilfully operated. With the planner absent for a day, we can get by, but we cannot operate without our production staff. Thus, our people are our greatest asset. Fortunately, we have a low turnover; which is really great. But in the event that we do need new people, they can be found locally and regionally with a bit of creativity. We recently held four recruitment open days. Hundreds attended and we were able to select the right people.”

In conclusion, Jongstra emphasises that life is good in the newest province of the Netherlands. “Flevoland offers space and room to move, something that cannot always be taken for granted in other parts of the Netherlands. Crime rates are low: we’ve only had one burglary in sixteen years. So it’s certainly safe here. You can move about freely day or night without having to look over your shoulder. Production takes place in four shifts and employees are able to get to work quickly and safely, without traffic congestion.”

Visit: www.mccain.nl

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