McDonald's Canada and McCain Foods Limited have announced a new partnership to create the Future of Potato Farming Fund by investing $1M in education, demonstration, and cost-sharing grants to support potato farmer adoption of regenerative practices and technology.
The new fund's goals are building soil health and farm resilience as Canadian potato farmers face the escalating impacts of climate change on yield and crop quality.
The McDonald's McCain Future of Potato Farming Fund aims to safeguard Canada's farming industry through supporting farmer adoption of regenerative practices that improve soil health and build critical resilience on the farm.
In June, McCain Foods released their global Regenerative Agriculture Framework that sets clear definitions and measurements for a regenerative potato acre. Developed in collaboration with a range of stakeholders and used globally, this voluntary framework will support growers as they onboard to regenerative agriculture.
The fund will be open to more than 130 Canadian farmers, who represent more than 76,000 acres of potato farmland.
It will consist of two rounds of grants for growers to implement established regulatory practices to build soil health and resilience starting in August 2022. Growers can apply to the Fund for cost-sharing from a list of priority regenerative practices and technologies, such as cover crop seed, flower strip seed, lower intensity tillage equipment, decision support systems, organic soil amendments, and more.
Funding decisions will be made jointly by an expert selection committee comprised of representatives from McDonald's Canada, McCain Foods, The Soil Health Institute, and a representative from a national potato farming association.
McDonald's Canada and McCain Foods will be working with the Soil Health Institute to measure progress throughout the program, specifically increased soil organic carbon and total nitrogen, increased bulk density and aggregate stability and plant available water and better drainage capacity.