McCain to close French fry plant in P.E.I.

A McCain Foods company logo is pictured outside a factory of the French fry maker company in...

A McCain Foods company logo is pictured outside a factory of the French fry maker company in Harnes, northern France, December 5, 2011. (REUTERS file photo/Pascal Rossignol)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

McCain Foods is closing its French fry plant in Canada's potato province, putting 121 employees out of work in Prince Edward Island, the company announced Thursday.

Operations will cease Oct. 31 at the plant in Borden-Carleton, which has become the "smallest and least utilized facility" in North America due to declining production over the past decade, the company said in a statement.

The company said demand for fries has shifted to other regions. It also blamed increased efficiency at other plants and the continuously strong Canadian dollar for the closure.

"Closing a plant is one of the toughest decisions we ever face," company president Frank van Schaayk said. "We deeply regret the personal impact the closure will have on our P.E.I. employees and we are committed to providing support and resources to those affected."

Employees will be offered early retirement benefits, severance packages that "exceed regulatory requirements" and retraining options.

McCain also said it will contribute up to $2 million toward "economic development initiatives" in the province to help create new jobs.

McCain employs about 3,000 employees at nine Canadian plants.


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