McDonald’s fries sustain Kiwi potato growers after Covid-19 ‘floods of spuds’


By supply, the potatoes to Mcdonalds mean that Canterbury growers can avoid the worst effect of Covid-19. By producing an excess of potatoes in the New Zealand market.


Hewson Farms based in Canterbury produces 22,000 tonnes of potato per year, and 12,000 tons of potatoes go to the Mcdonalds fries. However, 2.6 million tonnes of surplus vegetables go to the European markets is caused pressure on the New Zealand growers and processors because of Covid-19.

100 percent of the produced potatoes by Hewson Farms goes to McCain food who processes the potatoes and in frozen form supplies it to Mcdonald’s restaurants across the country. Where those potatoes are cooked and served as fries on the menu of the Mcdonalds restaurants.

The fast-food giant Mcdonalds has committed to source the potatoes from McCain and Hewson Farms without them the country will not grow the potatoes at all, Hewson also added that there are many jobs linked to that industry which makes them not to import the potatoes.

To make fries and hash brown more than 12000 tonnes of potatoes are required every year by the fast-food giant Mcdonalds which takes around three minutes to cook.

Spokesperson of Mcdonalds Simon Kenny says that the majority of the ingredients used in making the menu are sourced from the local suppliers and it has been working with McCain foods since 1990. 100% of the frozen fries of McCain are supplied to 170 of the Mcdonalds restaurants across the country.

There are eleven types of potatoes approved globally to produce the fries of which there are three types of potatoes which are grown in Canterbury. All of the three kinds have low defect rates and are of a perfect size making the fries within the time limit. He added.

He also said that they value the long term relationship they have with the suppliers and they are planning not to change that relationship.

The New Zealand potato industry is worth around $1 billion and nearly amount to half a million tonnes per year has been shaken by the 2.6 million tons of surplus in Europe where there is Covid-19 going on and there is less demand for those vegetables.

McDonald’s has very strict criteria for the food they source and McCain is selected after completing 120 analytical and sensory checks to ensure quality and safety.

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