McCain Foods completes $37 million upgrade of Tasmania food plant

The McCain Foods Smithton plant.

McCain Foods has completed the $37 million upgrade of its manufacturing plant in Tasmania, which has returned to seven-day production despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

The food maker said in a statement that construction at the Smithton site was in its final stages when the coronavirus pandemic hit Australia. During the lockdown, international specialist engineering and construction staff had to suspend training its local staff.

“The pandemic presented challenges for all of us – but the way our people adapted enabled us to keep production levels high and continue to fulfil our responsibility to supply food to our fellow Australians,” said Gordon Gillies, McCain Foods Smithton plant manager. “As a team, every person played a significant part in making the upgrade operational and getting production back on track.”

McCain Foods workers at the plant in Tasmania

The investment saw the installation of a new fryer and batter applicator as the company makes Smithton its main retail production facility for Australia and New Zealand. The food company also invested an additional $6.4 million into the Circular Head region for resources, accommodation and ancillary spending.

“We are pleased to be upskilling our team with the new equipment and as well as expanding our permanent workforce – a demonstration of our going commitment to production in the region,” added Gilles.

In July, McCain Foods unveiled a renewable energy system at its Ballarat food-processing facility, cutting its carbon footprint by more than 27,000 tonnes per year.

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