About McCain

A Timeline History in Australia.

Humble Beginnings.

Andrew McCain was a Canadian potato farmer in the early 1900s. Andrew saw an opportunity to expand beyond farming and selling potatoes locally and in 1909 created McCain Produce, a potato seed export company. 

In 1957, Andrew’s sons, Wallace and Harrison McCain, along with their brothers Robert and Andrew, founded McCain Foods, opening the first production facility in their hometown of Florenceville, New Brunswick, Canada. Under Wallace and Harrison’s leadership, McCain Foods quickly established itself within the Canadian marketplace and then began a journey to become the world’s largest manufacturer of frozen French fries and potato specialties.

Today, McCain Foods Limited has more than 20,000 employees working on six continents.

McCain Foods (Aust) Pty Ltd and McCain Foods (NZ) Limited are both wholly owned subsidiaries of McCain Foods Limited in Canada and are part of the global McCain group of companies.

A Timeline History in Australia.

How it all began in Australia

In 1968 McCain Australia was set up as a division of McCain Foods Limited, importing French fries from overseas.

Production starts in Daylesford, Victoria

With the fertile potato growing conditions in Victoria and frozen potato industry in infancy, it was obvious to McCain Australia to purchase potato farms and build a production facility.  A small potato processing plant was built in Daylesford to manufacture frozen fries.  Delicious and fresh, the fries were such a hit that we soon needed a new plant. And Ballarat, with its potato growing reputation, was where we built in 1974.

The Daylesford Factory 1976

McCain Foods Makes Pizza!

As the Ballarat plant cooked up batch after batch of golden fries, the original Daylesford plant got a makeover to manufacture the latest product – pizzas. No one thought they’d be as popular as they were, and we were soon constructing another plant in Ballarat, just to produce pizza.

The Ballarat Factory 1976

Tassie, here we come!

In 1984 we purchased the Copper Kettle Vegetable Processing Plant in Smithton, Tasmania. And we expanded our products from fries and pizzas to include farm-fresh vegetables. But there was more to come. In the same year, McCain Dinner Classics burst onto the market, with a range of low calorie, fresh dinners that the whole family could enjoy.

Smithton Tasmania Factory

We grow a bit more

McCain gradually welcomed Chalet Foods, Gold Crest and Milani dinner products, into the family. This allowed us to offer a substantial variety of frozen dinners, including Low Calorie, Heart Foundation Approved, and our Healthy Choice range. In 1988, another potato processing plant was built in Smithton and Tasmania’s cool climate produced our best potatoes yet. In 1990 we purchased New Zealand’s Alpine Food Co – a vegetable processing company in 1992 we bought the Safries potato processing plant in South Australia.

New Zealand’s year

New Zealand now joined the ranks of McCain fans around the world. We built a potato processing plant in Timaru, right next door to the existing vegetable plant. With freshness as their number one priority, New Zealand now had McCain produce from their very own farmland.

Timaru Plant, New Zealand

Big changes

In the late ‘90s McCain began to blossom into the organisation it is today. Multi-million dollar upgrades to the original Ballarat French fry plant saw epic leaps in production volumes. We tripled the size of our dinner manufacturing plant and installed a state of the art cold storage area in Ballarat.

Into the 21st Century

The first decade of the new century has seen a new dinner manufacturing plant and substantial upgrades to the vegetable plant in Hastings, NZ. Robotics was introduced into three of our plants, and we developed a range of delicious frozen fruits and sweet potato fries.

Hastings Plant, New Zealand

It’s all good

In 2013, McCain Foods (Aust) Pty Ltd acquired Kitchens of Sara Lee Pty Ltd, further growing its portfolio of products with the addition of bakery, frozen desserts and ice cream.Since 1968, McCain has shown that if you produce the best quality food, you’ll soon become a trans-Tasman favourite. Especially when you maintain an unwavering pledge to ensure the highest quality in food safety, sanitation, ingredient quality and manufacturing integrity. From the farm to your table, McCain promises to deliver delicious, tasty and nutritious produce for years to come.

Potato farming

McCain Today

McCain Today

McCain Foods Limited is a privately owned, multi-national leader in the frozen food industry, manufacturing quality products including French fries, appetizers, pizzas, vegetables, desserts, and prepared meals. We also own companies in complementary industries, such as agriculture and transportation. From just one factory in Canada’s Florenceville, New Brunswick, we’ve grown to become the world’s largest producer of frozen French fries. With the support of our owners, the McCain family, along with a dedicated team of professionals, a strong commitment to research and development, new product innovation and carefully chosen acquisitions, McCain continues to grow.

Globally, McCain Foods Limited has more than 21,000 employees and 52 production facilities working on six continents, generating annual sales over CDN $9 billion. For more on McCain Foods Limited, please visit: http://www.mccain.com

McCain Foods (Aust) Pty Ltd and McCain Foods (NZ) Limited are both wholly owned subsidiaries of McCain Foods Limited in Canada and are part of the global McCain group of companies. McCain Foods Australia & New Zealand has over 1,500 employees, 5 production sites, and sales presence in all major cities.



Ballarat, Victoria

Lisarow, New South Wales

Smithton, Tasmania






McCain Foods Limited has been an established exporter since the 1960s, initially supplying  French fries around the globe to become one of today’s world’s largest manufacturers of frozen potato products for both retail and foodservice markets.  With proven expertise in freezing and distribution of frozen food, McCain Foods ANZ has continued this drive, exporting potato and vegetable products from its facilities in Australia and New Zealand, strategically located in hearts of agricultural regions with reputations for prime growing conditions.


With the acquisition of Kitchens of Sara Lee Pty Ltd in 2013, the McCain export portfolio has expanded to include premium desserts made by Australia’s and New Zealand’s #1 Desserts brand.


McCain Foods can assure a comprehensive food safety and quality management program led by its Global Quality Council, including strict manufacturing procedures, expert leadership, ongoing process innovation, use of quality ingredients and both internal and independent auditing. All McCain facilities receive and pass an annual third party audit against one of the internationally recognised GFSI approved standards and an unannounced Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) inspection conducted by AIB International.


Our People

Grow with us

People with passion are the key to our success – passion for continuous improvement, for teamwork, for learning and for delivering results. Our employees are our most valuable asset and we continually invest in our workforce to ensure it remains an industry leading team. We are committed to ensuring a safe and healthy working environment and conduct an annual Safety Day where all employees participate in demonstrations, presentations and workshops relating to health and safety both within the work and home environment. Our philosophy is that nothing we do is worth getting hurt for.

It’s a sign of a good company that people feel good – about themselves, about their job; and about their community. We’ve worked hard to create a friendly and diverse culture where everyone can do well. We want to attract committed, confident leaders at all levels, people who are lifelong learners valuing continuous improvement, driving performance and giving us great ideas to help keep us at the leading edge of our market.

McCain and the Community

McCain and the Community

No matter how big we grow, we never lose sight of what’s important to the people who depend on our local operations. We pride ourselves of our involvement in our local communities in many ways.

In Australia and New Zealand, we are located in rural communities in prime cropping areas. These communities are vital to our operations and we actively support local fund raising activities and charities. McCain is a major supporter of United Way, with many of our employees contributing to this charity via payroll deduction.  McCain regularly donates food products to local and global organisations, such as Foodbank, to assist in the fight against hunger and poverty, benefiting our entire community in turn.

Corporate SocialResponsibility

At McCain Foods, we view our Corporate Social Responsibility as a fundamental expression of how we conduct all aspects of our business.

We know it’s our responsibility to be a good corporate citizen by acting in ways that support our local communities, our environment and our employees. We do it because it’s the right thing to do. This responsibility is embedded in our culture, not just because it’s good business, but because of the effect it has on society at large. We have made sustainable environmental impacts that will continue to improve the lives of the people around us.

Our commitment to caring, integrity, respect and ethics is demonstrated in our Code of Conduct, our advertising commitment, our community involvement, our dedication to the environment and the safety of our customers, consumers and employees.

Food Safety

There is no higher priority for a food company than the safety of its products. McCain has many rigorous measures in place at our plants to ensure that the food we manufacture is safe for consumption. McCain Foods is committed to being a world class food manufacturer that provides our customers and consumers with food they can trust to be safe, nutritious and great tasting.

We employ a comprehensive food safety and quality management programme within each of our manufacturing facilities. This programme includes strict adherence to GMP and HACCP principles, expert leadership, thorough employee training and education, ongoing process innovation, the use of quality ingredients, internal and external testing and auditing.
• Sanitation and cleanliness
• Food safety
• Ingredient quality
• Manufacturing integrity
• Good Manufacturing Practices and Sanitation
• Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points
• Quality System Evaluation

Modern Slavery Statement

As a leading producer of prepared potato and appetizer products, and a family-owned company, McCain holds its commitment to protecting human rights in its business at the core of its operations. Addressing modern slavery and the exploitation of human rights across the global supply chain is a critical priority, particularly because the bulk of ingredients come from farmers and suppliers of agricultural products.

McCain Foods Limited (“McCain”, “it” or “its”) is a purpose driven business on a journey to make planet-friendly food. McCain’s shared values – Family, Authentic, Quality and Trusted – are critical to the direction of decisions made regarding supply chain and procurement around the world.

A number of appropriate company policies and processes, including the McCain Global Code of Conduct1 and Supplier Code of Conduct2, have been in place for years to identify and manage risks globally. However, the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) and similar legislation elsewhere sharpened McCain’s focus to protect the human rights of workers and the integrity of its supply chain. McCain sees this as an opportunity to use its global scale to act as a more powerful force for good, locally and more broadly.

Read our full statement



Our vision is: Good Food. Better Life. To us, that means continually working to enhance the quality of our products and services, and to preserve the quality of the environment wherever we operate by minimising our impact on the land, water and air we use.

We regard compliance with the law as a minimum standard to be achieved. Our aim is to continuously improve our environmental performance by finding effective ways to reduce the adverse impacts of our business from farm to fork.

We recognise that we have a major social responsibility to reduce water usage, particularly in our drought affected areas, and we have already made significant reductions in the amount of water which we use.

To ensure that our actions match our commitment, we have established these environmental objectives. We will:

  • Establish and measure the environmental impacts of our operations, set targets for performance improvement and monitor our progress against those targets.
  • Implement environmental management systems to identify and manage environmental risks, obligations and opportunities, as with ISO 14000 for example.
  • Ensure that environmental impacts are identified and considered in all our decision-making processes.
  • Use natural resources wisely by reducing or eliminating waste and by re-using and recycling to the most practical extent.
  • Evaluate and invest in alternative sources of energy and advanced environmental technology where it makes sense to do so.
  • Apply McCAIN standards of responsible environmental practice where we believe that local legal requirements are insufficient for the operation.
  • Collaborate with our suppliers and customers to reduce the environmental impacts of our products and services throughout the supply chain while ensuring food safety and quality control.
  • Engage with community stakeholders on environmental issues with a view to developing effective and sustainable practices.
  • Monitor emerging environmental issues, regulatory changes, scientific data and technological advances to assist the continuous improvement of our environmental policies and practices.
  • Raise awareness of our environmental challenges with our employees, train them to effectively meet the intent of this policy and our objectives, and educate them on individual responsibility to advance environmental progress.
  • Conduct regular audits to verify compliance and inform continuous improvement.
  • Annually review and report on our progress in implementing our policy and meeting established targets.
  • Review this policy periodically and update it as required.

All employees are responsible for understanding how this policy applies to them in their day to day activities and for applying good environmental practices in the workplace.

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