McCain adapts to drought with changing business model, water strategy

Agbiz Morning Market Viewpoint on Agri-Commodities: 04 April 2017  
April 4, 2017
Decline in fuel prices bring temporary relief
April 4, 2017

McCain adapts to drought with changing business model, water strategy

The impact of South Africa’s drought on local farmers, producers, and consumers have been immense with a significant impact on agricultural yields, quality and price. This is forcing companies like McCain South Africa to adjust their business models to mitigate the impact.

While rainfall has occurred in recent times and dam levels have improved, it will still take several months for crop yield and quality to return to normal. In some cases, up to 30% of local yields have been lost.
Potato farmers have been among the hardest hit. Many planted potatoes have had to be taken out sooner than planned due to a lack of irrigation water. This has led to fewer, smaller than average potatoes being harvested, with crops more vulnerable to malformation, secondary growth, low dry matter content and high sugar levels – all of which can render the product unusable.

 

“Our water utilisation strategy has seen a 42% reduction in water wastage at the Springs plant, and a 23% reduction at the Delmas facility over the past two years,” concludes Da Costa. “We have managed to cut down water usage significantly while maintaining the highest food safety standards, which is very pleasing considering the magnitude of the crisis.”

 

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