McCain Foods: Farms of the Future


McCain Foods: Farms of the Future

Creating opportunities for innovation in sustainable agriculture

The Context for Change

A number of global trends are influencing food security and threatening the overall sustainability of global food and agricultural systems. A rapidly growing population is boosting the demand for food. Farmers are being challenged to produce more with less, while climate change is disrupting harvests and slowing down productivity.

These food challenges have only been amplified amidst COVID-19, and will only get worse without innovation and action.

The impakt Approach

Following a robust learning phase, impakt led workshops with key stakeholders to build an innovative social purpose initiative centred around sustainable agricultural practices. First, a strategy session with 20 leading sustainability experts. Second, an international co-creation session, working with top McCain employees across the world.

Following the co-creation sessions, impakt supported the design and launch of McCain's Farms of the Future program: an innovative collaboration between universities, technology companies, and other agri-centric companies to advance regenerative potato farming practices and identify emerging agriculture technologies.

The Outcomes

The goal of the Farms of the Future program is to advance sustainable farming practices by helping to demonstrate their scalability and their economic viability.

McCain Foods is building three Farms of the Future to showcase how regenerative farming practices and the latest agricultural innovations can be implemented at scale. They will be built in three different countries with three different climates around the world. One of those will be in New Brunswick, Canada. These three innovative commercial potato farms will be operational by 2025.

Change for Good

The Farms of the Future program was announced as part of McCain's first sustainability report, “Be Good. Do Good.” The report summarizes McCain's sustainability responsibilities and commitments, goals, and plans to achieve an ambitious social and environmental vision.

McCain Foods has aligned the Farms of the Future program with key SDG commitments, including:

  • an environmental commitment to produce zero waste to landfill
  • use 100 percent renewable energy
  • reduce CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2030

These farms will serve as research and innovation hubs to pilot and test regenerative agricultural practices using state-of-the-art technologies, renewable energy and machinery innovation. Once the program demonstrates viability and impact, McCain Foods will aim to roll out the best sustainable agricultural practices across their global farm network.

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